Charles B. Darrow of Germantown, Pennsylvania is often credited with creating the Monopoly game. During the Great Depression, Darrow, who was unemployed, came up with the idea of striking it rich through real estate and development. He put those ideas into a board game and called it “Monopoly.” He submitted the game to the Parker Brothers in 1934, but the executives rejected it because they found 52 design and playing errors.
Darrow decided to produce the game himself with a printer friend. He sold 5,000 of his homemade Monopoly sets to a Philadelphia department store. Because of the high demand for the game, Darrow resubmitted it to the Parker Brothers and they accepted the game for production. Since its introduction, over 500 million people have played the game while over 200 million game sets have sold.
Facts about Monopoly via hasbro.com
The longest Monopoly game in history lasted 79 straight days.
The longest Monopoly game in a bathtub lasted 99 hours!
It’s available in 111 countries, in 43 languages. In the 1970’s, a Braille edition of the Monopoly game was created for the visually impaired.
More than six billion little green houses and 2.25 billion red hotels have been “constructed” since 1935.
The total amount of money in a standard Monopoly game is $15,140.
Mr. Monopoly is the name of the Monopoly man. The character behind the bars is called Jake the Jailbird. Officer Edgar Mallory sent him to jail.
The most-landed-on properties are Illinois Avenue, “GO” and the B&O Railroad.
In 1978, the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog offered a chocolate version of the game priced at $600.
The most expensive version of the game was produced by celebrated San Francisco jeweler Sidney Mobell. Valued at $2 million, the set featured a 23-carat gold board and diamond-studded dice.
Escape maps, compasses and files were inserted into Monopoly game boards smuggled into POW camps inside Germany during World War II. Real money for escapees was slipped into the packs of Monopoly money.
In Cuba, the game had a strong following until Fidel Castro took power and ordered all known sets destroyed.
According to Elliott Avedon’s Virtual Museum of Games at the University of Waterloo, Monopoly may have been based on a game called The Landlord’s Game. Virginia-native Elizabeth J. Magie created and patented The Landlord’s Game in 1904 and according to Avedon’s Museum of Games, the similarities are striking.
Like Monopoly, had forty spaces, four railroads, two utilities, twenty-two rental properties, and spaces for Jail, Go to Jail, Luxury Tax, and Parking, as a way to teach the single-tax theory. Magie, a Quaker, was a firm believer in the single-tax theory’s basic tenet, that a person’s taxes should be based on the amount of land that he owned, a popular idea around the turn of the 20th century. The game spread through word of mouth. Rules were relayed from one group of friends to another and boards and game pieces were homemade. It is believed that Magie’s game have even found its way to the University of Pennsylvania economics department, as well as the campuses of Princeton and Harvard. Magie kept up with the changes that wider play made in her game, by adapting the rules to allow improving properties, naming the properties, and giving players higher rent if they owned a monopoly. In 1924, Magie attempted to interest George Parker [of Parker Brothers] in purchasing the rights to her improved game, but was turned down on the basis that her game was too political.