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Jeffrey Mattox papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 116.2826
The Jeffrey Mattox papers contain documentation on Mattox’s 1964 Tic-Tac-Toe Machine. Included in this collection are notes, charts, schematics, reference, correspondence, and narratives, as well as digital images of the machine’s interior and exterior. Additional scope and content information can be found in the “Contents List” section of this finding aid.

The Jeffrey Mattox papers have been arranged into three series. The physical collection is housed in one flat document box, and digital materials are accessible on-site at The Strong.


  • Majority of material found within 1963 - 2016
  • 1963-1964, 2016



The materials in this collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, he has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.


1.75 Linear Feet (1 box)

101 Megabytes (Digital files) : Accessible on-site at The Strong.


The Jeffrey Mattox papers document the creation of Mattox’s Tic-Tac-Toe Machine in 1964. The bulk of the collection is dated 1963-1964 and also 2016.

Biographical Note

Inspired by his childhood visits to an exhibit featuring a Tic-Tac-Toe machine at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, Wisconsin high school student Jeffrey Mattox designed and built this electromechanical Tic-Tac-Toe machine in the summer of 1963. Mattox entered the game in a science fair in Milwaukee where it proved popular among guests and earned him a special certificate from the U.S. Army. Players used an attached rotary-style telephone dial play against the machine. By entering a number from one to nine, players marked in white a corresponding square on the Tic-Tac-Toe board.

After high school, Mattox graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1969-1974. He co-owned Heurikon Corporation from 1974 until 2001, also earning his MBA from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. Though formally retired since 2001, Mattox continues to work as an independent computer software professional.

System of Arrangement

Series I: Tic-Tac-Toe Machine development, 1963-1964

Series II: Tic-Tac-Toe Machine correspondence and narrative, 2011, 2016

Series III: Tic-Tac-Toe Machine digital files, 2016

Custodial History

The Jeffrey Mattox papers were donated to The Strong in October 2016 as a gift of Jeffrey Mattox. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 116.2826 and were received from Mattox in one envelope.

Related Materials

Mattox’s original Tic-Tac-Toe Machine (Object ID 116.3670) is housed at The Strong.

Processed by

Julia Novakovic, September 2018
Finding Aid to the Jeffrey Mattox Papers, 1963-2016
Julia Novakovic
28 September 2018
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)