I sat down to a socially distanced game of Monopoly the other day and as I was getting clobbered by my friends, I begin to wonder about the iconic game’s history. With that in mind, here are six facts about the game:
1. The game is originally credited to Charles Darrow, a salesman from Philadelphia. But it appears he stole the idea from a woman named Elizabeth Magie. She called her game “Landlord’s Game.”
2. Parker Brothers bought the rights from Darrow. Elizabeth filed a lawsuit in 1903. Darrow claimed it was his game. Parker Brothers settle with Elizabeth, however in the end, Darrow received millions of dollars in royalties while Elizabeth reportedly received only $500.
3. Game pieces have evolved over time. They were originally wooden, but were replaced by iron pieces in 1937. The original pieces were the iron, car, thimble, shoe, lantern, purse, dog, battleship, and rocking horse.
4. All property names were based on real streets from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
5. Rich Uncle Penny Bags, the Monopoly man, was based upon a real person. Penny Bags was created to look like J.P. Morgan, an American banker and financier, who was one of the most influential individuals of the time period.
6. Darrow created 5,000 hand drawn copies of the game before he sold it to Parker Brothers. One of the original games can be seen at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
Interesting facts, right? Excuse me, as I have another game to participate in!