The History Of Monopoly

The history behind the origins of the game Monopoly.

In 1933, Charles B. Darrow invented the game of Monopoly. It was after the big stock market crash and Charles was out of work. He took odd jobs just to put food on the table for his family. It was said that in happier times, he and his wife used to go to Atlantic City. This gave him his inspiration to draw his game on an oil cloth.

He misspelled Marvin Gardens, it should have been Marven Gardens, this was later corrected. There were only three railroads that carried people to Atlantic City, and he wanted one for each side of the board, so he brought in Short Line, which was really a freight bus that had a depot there. He made houses and hotels out of cardboard, used different colored buttons for the tokens, and used play money and dice.

He soon had family and friends over every night to play the game, which at this time they called "The Game". His friends wanted to take the game home with them so often that he made additional boards for them and they usually supplied their own dice and play money. He was soon selling these to friends for four dollars a game, but could only make two every day. A paint store in the neighborhood donated samples of paint to him, and he would go to a lumber yard and take unwanted scraps of wood. Soon a friend in the printing business started printing the boards for him. Now he was able to produce six games a day, but this still wasn't enough to keep up with the demand he had, as a store in Philadelphia was selling games for him now.



He went to Parker Brothers to manufacture the game. They considered it and played it but they rarely bought games from people outside the company and did not take it too seriously. They also had their own definite ideas about game rules, and felt that this game took way too long to finish, and that the rules were too complicated for the average person or child. They turned him down, saying the game had fifty-two errors.

Charles kept making the game and one by one stores grew more interested, and were selling the games quickly. By 1935, Parker Brothers could no longer ignore the gold mine that Charles had made, so they bought the rights and made the first official Monopoly Game.

Now, it is worth mentioning that some legal battles were going on about the origin of Charles's game. Some think the idea came from a game that was invented by a Quaker woman, who lived in Virginia in 1903. Lizzie J. Magie called her game The Landlords Game to protest monopolies. Her colors and names were different, and her properties were only rented, never sold. It was said that her game gained some popularity, and was eventually played in universities, where it was changed in 1927 by Dan Laymen who called his game Finance.

At present, Monopoly is played by four hundred eighty million people, worldwide, in over forty-five countries, and over twenty-six languages.

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