Happy birthday, Monopoly
Board games are important for family fun. They were a great source of entertainment to me and my three brothers when we were kids.
One of special games was Monopoly, and one game for us would go on for days. Now Monopoly is 75 years old, and the record time for a game was 1,680 hours long, or 70 days.
Unemployed engineer Charles B. Darrow of Germantown, Pa., was awarded a patent on the game, which made him a multimillionaire and revived board game company Parker Brothers’ ailing fortunes.
There have been 250 million of this board game sold. The game was released in 1935. It has been played in 103 countries, and produced in 37 languages.
Originally Monopoly was turned down by Parker Brothers due to some design errors, but that didn’t slow Darrow down. He produced 5,000 games by hand with the help of a printer friend. He sold them to a Philadelphia department store. People loved the game and the demand grew so much he couldn’t keep up, so he went back to Parker Brothers and the rest is history. It was the best-selling game in America. It is estimated over 500 million people have played Monopoly.
There have been many variations of the game over the years and many local businesses have taken advantage of this situation. A few years ago our Lansing Lions Club produced the “Game of Lansing.” It is played just like the original Monopoly game with 34 of Lansing’s businesses to be purchased or sold by the players
I am sure some of these games are still available at the Lansing Museum. It might be neat for you to look into this and make a purchase. It would be fun and also could be a great history lesson at the same time. This was made about 20 years ago and many of the businesses are still in existence today.