History of Monopoly

A lot of people consider that the history of “Monopoly” started in 1934 invented by Charles B. Darrow and after that sold to The Parker brothers in 1935, but the history of this game is much older and complex. Some people say that this board game was invented for the first time by a woman that worked as an economist follower. Her name was Elizabeth Maggie (McGee), and she invented this game in 1904 in order to help learning the single tax theory invented by Henry George. In 1906 this game named “The Landlords Game” already got it’s patent and was granted a saw production. In 1921 Elizabeth introduced some changes in game rules, making the game more similar to the “Monopoly” we all know, and she was granted a new patent in 1924.

In 1932 a man called Dan Layman introduced his own changes to the game and took his invention to “Electronic Laboratories” (Indianapolis) to be mass produced. The game was named “Finance”, and entered the history as the first board game of this kind that was mass produced.

The next changes that “Monopoly” suffered were from a person named Ruth Hoskins. She learned the game from Dan Layman and took it to Atlantic City. Some people say that the changes she made were as a result of an erroneous memory, but now we can say that this was a step that got us closer to the “Monopoly” we are familiar with. She worked on the game with a guy named Jesse Rayford, and this version actually got the name “Monopoly”.

Rayford had a friend, Mr. Charles Todd, and he taught him playing “Monopoly” as well. The game version was still an auction type monopoly, and the main difference was that there weren’t any prices for the properties.

After that Todd presented the game to his childhood friend, Esther, Charles Darrow’s wife. After an interesting night of “Monopoly” playing Mr. Darrow asked Todd to give him a copy of the rules. This two guys never spoke again after that night.

Charles Darrow realized that the game he played is a good thing and he started to make “Monopoly” copies by hand. He introduced some slight changes in rules and game board structure, made them a copyright, and that’s how the actual “Monopoly” was born.

In 1935 he contacted the Parker brothers, because he couldn’t keep up with the sales. After one rejection, The Parker Brothers agreed to buy the game, but there were some problems to solve. They bought the patent from Elizabeth Maggie ( known as Philips at that time ) with 500 $ and started a game production concurrence with Knapp Electric and other guy’s that manufactured this board game, like Darrow. Soon they got the patent 2026082 and the Parker brothers were granted full rights over this popular game.


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