Monopoly
Answer to Name This Famous Antique Game - May 2015
By Mike McLeod
 

Recognized the world over, the Scotty dog is a game piece from the game of Monopoly. While Monopoly does not fit the general standard of being 100 years old to be classified as an antique, it is an 80-year-old-or-so classic with great credentials:

The Scotty dog is a game piece from
the game of Monopoly

Box lid of Monopoly from circa 1936–1941. Early games are dated by the patent numbers and cities on the labels, according to the website Early Monopoly Game Box Designs, 1935-1954 (http://monopoly.cdbpdx.com).

*More than 275 million games have been sold worldwide, and it’s available in 111 countries, in 43 languages. Since 1935, more than one billion people have played the game. The longest Monopoly game in history lasted for 70 straight days.
*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. In 1978, the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog offered a chocolate version of the game priced at $600.
*More than six billion little green houses and 2.25 billion red hotels have been “constructed” since 1935.
*More than 20 tokens have been cast since the Monopoly game was introduced in 1935 such as the horse, dog, car, elephant, purse and lantern. In the early 1950s, the lantern, purse and rocking horse were removed from the game. They were replaced by the dog, horse and rider, and wheelbarrow. Recently, a cat replaced the iron.
*Nearly 10 million worldwide mobile phone downloads of the game have been made in 27 countries and 20 languages.
*Tokens from the United States Monopoly: Here & Now Edition were flown into space aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2007.
*Escape maps (made of silk), compasses and metal files were inserted into Monopoly games provided to some POW camps inside Germany during World War II. Real money was slipped into the packs of Monopoly money.
1
*For its 80th anniversary in France, Hasbro included real money in some of the games, one having a complete set of Monopoly money and a complete set of real money totaling 20,580 Euros ($23,268).
2 

Charles Darrow sold the rights to his game of Monopoly to Parker Bros. in the 1935 after making the game by hand at home for about two years. He is largely credited of the inventor of the game. However, Elizabeth Magie filed a patent request for The Landlord’s Game in 1904 that bears remarkable similarities to Monopoly, including four “R.R” spaces in the middle of each side of the board, a “Public Parking” space, “Go to Jail,” “Luxury Tax” and so on.

This all came to light in 1974 after Parker Bros. filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement against Ralph Anspach, a professor at San Francisco State University, who created a game called Anti-Monopoly. During Anspach’s research, he found Magie’s patents and that she originally sold her game to Parker Bros.3 (The company also bought other games from her: Bargain Day, a shopping game, and King’s Men, a strategy game.) Some credit Magie as the true inventor of Monopoly.

Charles Darrow’s patent illustration for Monopoly in 1935, looking almost the same as today’s game and bearing distinct similarities to Magie’s game.

Elizabeth Magie’s patent illustration for
The Landlord Game, 1904.

Truth be told, Darrow’s Monopoly game pulled ideas from several popular games of that day. He did not create the concept for a property-based board game, but neither did Nike invent the athletic shoe. Magie is due credit for the concept, but in comparing their patents, Darrow made the better mousetrap, so to speak. In his patent application, the game board and pieces look virtually the same as the standard game today.

Because of her political and financial beliefs, Magie provided two methods for playing her game: the current way of playing Monopoly with one winner and a “share-the-wealth” way in which everyone wins. The former was the most popular.

Monopoly made Darrow a millionaire. Magie is reported to have made $500 with her game.4 A paltry sum, comparatively. Yet, $3 would be a dress then, and a seven-room house could be rented for $35 per month.

Monopoly can be found in just about any version you like: featuring Star Wars characters, Simpsons, Power Puff Girls, Sun-Maid Raisins, Disney Villains, Bass Fishing, The Walking Dead, Cat Lovers, One Direction, Street Fighter, QVC5 (yes, that shopping cable channel), or create your own Monopoly game with your own photos and names of streets and spaces.

A last note, Parker Bros. did not jump at their first chance to buy Monopoly so Darrow sold it directly to stores. It was not until after Parker Bros. saw the game flying off the shelves did the company come on board. (Pun intended.)

The Scotty dog was recognized by Julie Kimbrell of the Old School Antique Mall in Sylva, N.C., and Sherron Lawson of Roswell, Ga.

-----------------------------------

1 Facts and history provided by Hasbro.com.
2 TheGuardian.com, “Monopoly maker secretly includes real money in special edition of game,” Agence France-Presse, 2 February 2015.
3, 4 NYTimes.com, “Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass ‘Go’,” Mary Pilon, Feb. 13, 2015.
5 Buzzfeed.com, “13 Of The Weirdest Monopoly Editions Ever Created,” Scott Bryan, Feb. 4, 2014.


Can you name this famous antique?
If not, check back in April for the answer.


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