17 December 2010
Ann Evans looks at the history behind one of our most beloved board games, Monopoly. ...
Streets ahead with Monopoly
Monopoly – we’ve all played it at some time or other. In fact statistics tell us that more than 275 million games of Monopoly have been sold worldwide. It’s available in 111 countries and has been translated into 43 languages. It’s probably the most popular board game in the world and 2010 saw it celebrating its 75th anniversary, while 2011 marks 75 years of the game being played by us Brits.
As board games go, Monopoly has some catching up to do, as this particular pastime has been around thousands of years dating back to the ancient Chinese and Egyptians.
The origins of Monopoly go back to 1904 when an American, Elizabeth Magie, took out a US patent on her game. It was originally called ‘The Landlord’s Game’ and she had designed it to demonstrate the problems that go with land and property monopoly.
Over the years various other people added significant elements to this and other similar board games, one being American Charles Darrow, whose design for Monopoly was eventually taken on by American toy and board game publishers Parker Brothers.