“Coming up with novel ideas and converting them into real products has always been as natural as breathing for me.”
— RALPH BAER 1922-2014, INVENTOR of the game “simon”
Welcome To #BaerSquare
The Baer Bench Commemorative Square was built in the Spring of 2019 as a place to remember Baer’s story, inspire current thought-leaders in our community, and to celebrate the future of Manchester.
The Square features a bench and a seated bronze statue of the late Ralph Baer, which was rendered through innovative digital modeling techniques to create a 3D printed form for casting.
When you visit Arms park, be sure to play some cornhole, visit Deka’s welcome center and, of course, see the statue! Take a selfie on the bench and share your photo with the hashtag #BaerSquare to show some love for this Downtown attraction. You can also check-in on Facebook.
So, Who Was Ralph Baer
During the year of 1966, in a small home in the North End of Manchester, NH, an engineer by the name of Ralph Baer invented the first video game. His patented "Brown Box," later called “Odyssey,” pioneered the concept of interactive screens and spearheaded the evolution of digital entertainment. With more than 150 patents awarded to him throughout his life, Baer’s whimsical approach to innovation has brought smiles and laughter to millions.
Ralph’s “Brown Box” was built in 1968
Ralph was working for Sanders Associates
Now known as BAE Systems, during 1966 when he first envisioned a more interactive relationship between man and machine. His "Brown Box," built in 1968 and patented in 1969, was licensed to Magnavox and sold as Odyssey - the world's first video game. For his contribution to the industry, Baer is now widely-accepted as the "Father of the Video Game.” He has been awarded the National Medal of Technology, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He passed at 92 after living in Manchester, NH for 42 years.
Ralph Baer had a passion for technological advancement, the prosperity of the Manchester community, and trail-blazing creativity.
Plan Your Visit
Experience a unique tribute to the “Father of the Video Game.”
10 Arms St. Manchester, NH 03101
You can find the square near the edge of Arms Park on the Merrimack River in Downtown Manchester.
This project came at a great time! The bench and statue was installed after the Manchester Connects AARP Community Challenge Grant provided additional outdoor furniture and a permanent cornhole installation.
Baer Bench Can now be found on
BEHIND THE SCENES
Baer's son, Mark, worked with the Hitchcock family and John Clayton of the Manchester Historic Association to execute this square. Kate Aiken kickstarted the fundraising, while Amy Chhom managed the installation and unveiling.
Wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors. Thank you so much for your commitment to the development of our community.
BAE Systems | Orbit Group
Manchester Arts Commission
Fun Spot, Computer Spiele Museam, St. Mary’s Bank
Flight, SNHU, Aspen Insurance Agency and Manchester Historic Association
IN THE PRESS
Video game pioneer Ralph Baer honored with Manchester statue | Concord Monitor
Ralph Baer and his signature Brown Box Manchester NH Attraction | Classic Arcade Gaming
Celebrating an innovation milestone at BAE Systems | BAE Systems
New Hampshire to Honor Hometown Hero IEEE Fellow Ralph Baer | IEEE Spectrum
Scholarship Fund Honors Video Game Pioneer Ralph Baer | New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
Manchester NH Video Game pioneer Honored With Statue | Shark 1053