This years Berwick Historical Society's display on the Christmas Boulevard is THE HISTORY OF BOARD GAMES. Below is some information about the ten games we will have on display. Look for our display as you drive the Boulevard this year.
For thousands of years, board games have been a source of entertainment for people across the world. Evidence of board games pre-dates the development of writing—and in many cultures they have even come to have a religious significance. What is particularly striking about a number of these games is how their original ethics and morals have been stripped by big business realizing they could make a quick buck off them.
The board game called "Checkers" in North America and "Draughts" (pronounced as "drafts") in Europe is one of the oldest games known to man. The history of checkers can be traced to the very cradle of civilization, where vestiges of the earliest form of the game was unearthed in an archeological dig in the ancient city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia, which is now modern day Iraq. Using a slightly different board, no one is sure of the exact rules of the game which was carbon dated at 3000 B.C. A similar game using a 5x5 board, called Alquerque is known to have existed in ancient Egypt as far back as 1400 B.C.
This Egyptian version was so popular that man played it for thousands of years. Then, in the year 1100 A.D., an innovative Frenchman thought of playing the game on a chess board and increased the number of pieces for each player to 12. This modified game was then called "Fierges" or "Ferses," but it was more appropriately called as "Le Jeu Plaisant De Dames," because it was considered a women's social game. Later, the game was made more challenging by making jumps mandatory and so, this newer version was referred to as "Jeu Force."
As early as the mid 1500s, books were written on the game and in 1756, an English mathematician wrote a treatise on draughts. Now, with its own written rules, the game settled in England where it was known as "Draughts" and in America where it was called "Checkers." The game steadily rose in popularity as the years went by. 1847 was an important year in the history of checkers when the first championship award was given. Later, game enthusiasts noticed that certain openings gave advantage to one side. And so, to begin the game in a random manner, two move restrictions were developed for expert players. In modern tournament checkers three move restrictions are prescribed.
1952 was a landmark year in the colorful history of checkers as Arthur L. Samuel created the first checkers program that was used by a computer. Gradually, these game programs were improved as computer speed and capacities increased. Today, computer programs rely more on data base information that show every possible move combinations when 10 pieces remain on the board and less on strategies. Checkers has entered practically every home through the Internet and has played to a draw and sometimes, even defeated the best players. Checkers continues to be as popular as ever and people all over the world play different versions of the game to entertain themselves, strengthen their powers of logic or simply enjoy quality time playing a good game at home with the family.
Tiddlywinks is an indoor game played on a flat felt mat with sets of small discs called "winks", a pot, which is the target, and a collection of squidgers, which are also discs. Players use a "squidger" (nowadays made of plastic) to shoot a wink into flight by flicking the squidger across the top of a wink and then over its edge, thereby propelling it into the air. The offensive objective of the game is to score points by sending your own winks into the pot. The defensive objective of the game is to prevent your opponents from potting their winks by "squopping" them: shooting your own winks to land on top of your opponents' winks. As part of strategic gameplay, players often attempt to squop their opponents' winks and develop, maintain and break up large piles of winks.
Tiddlywinks is sometimes considered a simpleminded, frivolous children's game, rather than a strategic, adult game. However, the modern competitive adult game of tiddlywinks made a strong comeback at the University of Cambridge in 1955. The modern game uses far more complex rules and a consistent set of high-grade equipment.
Tiddlywinks is a competitive game involving four colours of winks. Each player controls the winks of a colour, the colours being blue, green, red and yellow. Red and blue are always partners against green and yellow. There are six winks of each colour, which begin the game in the corners of a felt mat measuring 6 feet by 3 feet. This mat is ordinarily placed on a table, and a pot is placed at its centre. There are two primary methods of play with the four colors of winks: a pairs game, and a singles game. The pairs game involves four players, playing in partnerships, with each winker playing a single color. The singles game involves a single winker playing against another single winker, each playing two colors of winks in alternation.
The players take turns, and there are two basic aims: to cover (or squop) opponent winks, and to get one's own winks into the pot. As in pool or snooker, if a player pots a wink of his own colour, then he is entitled to an extra shot, and this enables a skilled player to pot all of his winks in one turn. The point of squopping, which is the key element distinguishing the adult game from the child's game (though recognized in even the earliest rules from 1890), is that a wink that is covered (even partially) may not be played by its owner. The wink on top may be played, though, and sophisticated play involves shots manipulating large piles of winks.
The game ends in one of two ways: either all the winks of one colour are potted (a pot-out), or play continues up to a specified time limit (usually 25 minutes), after which each colour has a further five turns. Then a scoring system is used to rank the players, based on the numbers of potted and unsquopped winks of each colour.
There are two national associations, the English Tiddlywinks Association (ETwA) and the North American Tiddlywinks Association (NATwA) (the Scottish Tiddlywinks Association disbanded in the late 1990s). These organisations are responsible for conducting tournaments and maintaining the rules of the game (which actually differ only slightly between the two organisations; the NATwA rules are based on the ETwA rules). International competition is overseen by the International Federation of Tiddlywinks Associations (IFTwA), though in practice it is rarely called upon to intervene.
Although tiddlywinks nowadays is a singles or pairs game, competition in the 1950s until the 2000s centred on team competition, with teams consisting of several (two to four) pairs. There were a number of university teams, and international matches were also played. More recently, singles and pairs tournaments have come to be the focus of competitive tiddlywinks, with only a few team matches being played each year. The four most prestigious tournaments are the National Singles and National Pairs tournaments held in England and the United States. The World Singles and World Pairs championships operate on a challenge basis; anyone winning a national tournament (or being the highest-placed home player behind a foreign winner) is entitled to challenge the current champion.
There are several other less prestigious tournaments in England and the United States throughout the year, often with a format designed to encourage inexperienced players. The results of tournaments and world championship matches are used to calculate Tiddlywinks Ratings, which give a ranking of players.
Battleship (also Battleships or Sea Battle) is a guessing game for two players. It is played on ruled grids (paper or board) on which the players' fleets of ships (including battleships) are marked. The locations of the fleet are concealed from the other player. Players alternate turns calling "shots" at the other player's ships, and the objective of the game is to destroy the opposing player's fleet.
Battleship is known worldwide as a pencil and paper game which dates from World War I. It was published by various companies as a pad-and-pencil game in the 1930s, and was released as a plastic board game by Milton Bradley in 1967. The game has spawned electronic versions, video games, smart device apps and a film.
The game of Battleship is thought to have its origins in the French game L'Attaque played during World War I, although parallels have also been drawn to E. I. Horseman's 1890 game Baslinda, and the game is said to have been played by Russian officers before World War I. The first commercial version of the game was Salvo, published in 1931 in the United States by the Starex company. Other versions of the game were printed in the 1930s and 1940s, including the Strathmore Company's Combat: The Battleship Game, Milton Bradley's Broadsides: A Game of Naval Strategy and Maurice L. Freedman's Warfare Naval Combat. Strategy Games Co. produced a version called Wings which pictured planes flying over the Los Angeles Coliseum. All of these early editions of the game consisted of pre-printed pads of paper.
In 1967 Milton Bradley introduced a version of the game that used plastic boards and pegs. The method of play i
Phoebe Snow was a fictional character created by Earnest Elmo Calkins to promote the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. The advertising campaign was one of the first to present a fictional character based on a live model amid impressionistic techniques.
Rail travel around 1900 was tough on the clothing of passengers. After a long trip on a coal-powered train, travellers frequently would disembark covered with black soot, unless the locomotives were powered by anthracite, a clean-burning form of coal. The Lackawanna owned vast anthracite mines in Pennsylvania, and could legitimately claim that the clothes of their passengers would remain clean after a long trip.
To promote this, the Calkins advertising department created, "Phoebe Snow", a young New York socialite, and a frequent passenger of the Lackawanna. The advertising campaign presented Miss Snow as often traveling to Buffalo, New York and always wearing a white dress.:9 Calkins said he based the campaign on an earlier series of Lackawanna car cards (advertisements displayed inside coaches) - All in Lawn - created by DL&W advertising manager, Wendell P. Colton. They had been built on a rather limiting nursery rhyme, The House That Jack Built, and featured a nameless heroine dressed in white. For his new campaign, Calkins adopted a form of verse inspired by an onomatopoetic rhyme, Riding on the Rail, that he felt offered endless possibilities.
Phoebe soon became one of the most recognized advertising mascots in the United States, and she began to enjoy all the benefits offered by DL&W: gourmet food, courteous attendants, an observation deck, even onboard electric lights:
"Phoebe Snow" was the only name Calkins ever used in the advertisements, and he laughed at later claims by Lackawanna officials that the name was selected only after lengthy scientific experimentation. The original artwork was painted by Henry Stacy Benton, who worked from a series of images of a model, Marion Murray Gorsch. Later, she was photographed in a variety of railroad activities while dressed in a white gown. Standing in for the cool, violet-corsaged Phoebe character of the paintings, Gorsch was one of the first models to be used in advertising.:9
During World War I, anthracite was needed for the war effort and its use on railroads was prohibited, thus ending the career of Phoebe Snow. As she passed into legend, the Calkins heroine said farewell with the following jingle:
On November 15, 1949, the Lackawanna Railroad inaugurated a new streamlined passenger train named after its long-dormant promotional symbol. The new Phoebe Snow represented the modernization of the Lackawanna passenger train fleet, and its image. The new train became Train No. 3 (westbound) and No. 6 (eastbound), which previously had been assigned to the railroad's formerly premier train, the Lackawanna Limited.
Singer Phoebe Snow took her stage name from the character.
The history of the board game Monopoly can be traced back to the early 20th century. The earliest known version of Monopoly, known as The Landlord's Game, was designed by an American, Elizabeth Magie, and first patented in 1904 but existed as early as 1902. Magie, a follower of Henry George, originally intended The Landlord's Game to illustrate the economic consequences of Ricardo's Law of Economic rent and the Georgistconcepts of economic privilege and land value taxation. A series of board games were developed from 1906 through the 1930s that involved the buying and selling of land and the development of that land. By 1933, a board game had been created much like the version of Monopoly sold by Parker Brothers and its related companies through the rest of the 20th century, and into the 21st. Several people, mostly in the Midwestern United States and near the East Coast, contributed to the game's design and evolution.
By the 1970s, the idea that the game had been created solely by Charles Darrow had become popular folklore; it was printed in the game's instructions for many years, in a 1974 book devoted to Monopoly, and was cited in a general book about toys even as recently as 2007. Even a guide to family games published for Reader's Digest in 2003 only gave credit to Darrow and Elizabeth Magie, erroneously stating that Magie's original game was created in the 19th century, and not acknowledging any of the game's development between Magie's creation of the game, and the eventual publication by Parker Brothers.
Also in the 1970s, Professor Ralph Anspach, who had himself published a board game intended to illustrate the principles of both monopolies and trust busting, fought Parker Brothers and its then parent company, General Mills, over the copyright and trademarks of the Monopoly board game. Through the research of Anspach and others, much of the early history of the game was "rediscovered" and entered into official United States court records. Because of the lengthy court process, including appeals, the legal status of Parker Brothers' copyright and trademarks on the game was not settled until 1985. The game's name remains a registered trademark of Parker Brothers, as do its specific design elements; other elements of the game are still protected under copyright law. At the conclusion of the court case, the game's logo and graphic design elements became part of a larger Monopoly brand, licensed by Parker Brothers' parent companies onto a variety of items through the present day. Despite the "rediscovery" of the board game's early history in the 1970s and 1980s, and several books and journal articles on the subject, Hasbro (Parker Brothers' current parent company) did not acknowledge any of the game's history before Charles Darrow on its official Monopoly website as recently as June 2012. Nor did Hasbro acknowledge anyone other than Darrow in materials published or sponsored by them, at least as recently as 2009.
International tournaments, first held in the early 1970s, continue to the present, although the last national tournaments and world championship were held in 2009. Starting in 1985, a new generation of spin-off board games and card games appeared on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1989, the first of many video game and computer game editions was published. Since 1994, many official variants of the game, based on locations other than Atlantic City, New Jersey (the official U.S. setting) or London (the official Commonwealth setting, excepting Canada), have been published by Hasbro or its licensees. In 2008, Hasbro permanently changed the color scheme and some of the gameplay of the standard U.S. Edition of the game to match the UK Edition, although the U.S. standard edition maintains the Atlantic City property names. Hasbro also modified the official logo to give the "Mr. Monopoly" character a 3-D computer-generated look, which has since been adopted by licensees USAopoly, Winning Moves and Winning Solutions. And Hasbro has also been including the Speed Die, introduced in 2006's Monopoly: The Mega Edition by Winning Moves Games, in versions produced directly by Hasbro (such as the 2009 Championship Edition).
In 1903, the Georgist Lizzie Magie applied for a patent on a game called The Landlord's Game with the object of showing that rents enriched property owners and impoverished tenants. She knew that some people would find it hard to understand the logic behind the idea, and she thought that if the rent problem and the Georgist solution to it were put into the concrete form of a game, it might be easier to demonstrate. She was granted the patent for the game in January 1904. The Landlord's Game became one of the first board games to use a "continuous path", without clearly defined start and end spaces on its board. Another innovation in gameplay attributed to Magie is the concept of "ownership" of a place on a game board, such that something would happen to the second (or later) player to land on the same space, without the first player's piece still being present. A copy of Magie's game that she had left at the Georgist community of Arden, Delaware and dating from 1903–1904, was presented for the PBS series History Detectives. This copy featured property groups, organized by letters, later a major feature of Monopoly as published by Parker Brothers.
Although The Landlord's Game was patented, and some hand-made boards were made, it was not actually manufactured and published until 1906. Magie and two other Georgists established the Economic Game Company of New York, which began publishing her game. Magie submitted an edition published by the Economic Game Company to Parker Brothers around 1910, which George Parker declined to publish. In the UK, it was published in 1913 by the Newbie Game Company under the title Brer Fox an' Brer Rabbit. Shortly after the game's formal publication, Scott Nearing, a professor in what was then known as the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, began using the game as a teaching tool in his classes. His students made their own boards, and taught the game to others. After Nearing was dismissed from the Wharton School, he began teaching at the University of Toledo. A former student of Nearing, Rexford Guy Tugwell, also taught The Landlord's Gameat Wharton, and took it with him to Columbia University. Apart from commercial distribution, it spread by word of mouth and was played in slightly variant homemade versions over the years by Quakers, Georgists, university students (including students at Smith College, Princeton, and MIT), and others who became aware of it.
A shortened version of Magie's game, which eliminated the second round of play that used a Georgist concept of a single land value tax, had become common during the 1910s, and this variation on the game became known as Auction Monopoly.The auctioning part of the game came through a rule that auctioned any unowned property to all game players when it was first landed on. This rule was later dropped by the Quakers, and in the current game of Monopoly an auction takes place only when an unowned property is not purchased outright by the player that first lands on it. That same decade, the game became popular around the community of Reading, Pennsylvania.Another former student of Scott Nearing, Thomas Wilson, taught the game to his cousin, Charles Muhlenberg, around 1915–1916. The original patent on The Landlord's Game expired in 1921. By this time, the hand-made games became known simply as Monopoly. Charles Muhlenberg and his wife, Wilma, taught the game to Wilma's brothers, Louis and Ferdinand "Fred" Thun, in the early 1920s.
Simultaneous to these events, Magie moved back to Illinois, and married Andrew Phillips. She moved to the Washington, D.C. area with her husband by 1923, and re-patented a revised version of The Landlord's Game in 1924 (under her married name, Elizabeth Magie Phillips). This version, unlike her first patent drawing, included named streets (though the versions published in 1910 based on her first patent also had named streets). Magie sought to regain control over the plethora of hand-made games. For her 1924 edition, a couple of streets on the board were named after Chicago streets and locations, notably "The Loop" and "Lake Shore Drive." This revision also included a special "monopoly" rule and card that allowed higher rents to be charged when all three railroads and utilities were owned, and included "chips" to indicate improvements on properties. Magie again approached Parker Brothers about her game, and George Parker again declined, calling the game "too political".Parker is, however, credited with urging Magie to take out her 1924 patent.
After the Thuns learned the game, they began teaching its rules to their fraternity brothers at Williams College around 1926. Daniel W. Layman, in turn, learned the game from the Thun brothers (who later tried to sell copies of the game commercially, but were advised by an attorney that the game could not be patented, as they were not its inventors). Layman later returned to his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, and began playing the game with friends there, ultimately producing hand-made versions of the board based on streets of that city. Layman then commercially produced and sold the game, starting in 1932, with a friend in Indianapolis, who owned a company called Electronic Laboratories. This game was sold under the name The Fascinating Game of Finance (later shortened to Finance). Layman soon sold his rights to the game, which was then licensed, produced and marketed by Knapp Electric. The published board featured four railroads (one per side), Chance and Community Chest cards and spaces, and properties grouped by symbol, rather than color. Also in 1932, one edition of The Landlord's Gamewas published by the Adgame Company with a new set of rules called Prosperity, also by Magie.
It was in Indianapolis that Ruth Hoskins learned the game, and took it back to Atlantic City. After she arrived, Hoskins made a new board with Atlantic City street names and railroads, and taught it to a group of local Quakers. It has been argued that their greatest contribution to the game was to reinstate the original Lizzie Magie rule of "buying properties at their listed price" rather than auctioning them, as the Quakers did not believe in auctions. Another source states that the Quakers simply "didn't like the noise of the auctioneering." Among the group taught the game by Hoskins were Eugene Raiford and his wife, who took a copy of the game with Atlantic City street names to Philadelphia. Due to the Raifords' unfamiliarity with streets and properties in Philadelphia, the Atlantic City-themed version was the one taught to Charles Todd, who in turn taught Esther Darrow, wife of Charles Darrow.
Uncle Wiggily Game is a track board game based on a character in a series of children's books by American writer Howard Roger Garis. The game is of the "racing" variety in the style of the European "Goose Game". Players advance along the track from Uncle Wiggily's Bungalow to Dr. Possum's House. There is no optimal strategy involved as play entirely rests upon a random drawing of the cards. The game was first published by Milton Bradley in 1916 and has seen several editions with minor modifications over the years. Uncle Wiggily remains one of the first and favorite games of childhood, and, with Candy Land, is considered[who?] a classic juvenile American board game.
Howard R. Garis created the character "Uncle Wiggily Longears" for a children's book in 1910. The game based on the children's story was first introduced by the Milton Bradley Company in 1916. Milton Bradley modified the game in 1923, 1949, and 1955. In 1947, the game cost $.67.
Parker Brothers obtained the rights to Uncle Wiggily in 1967. However, in 1989 both Milton Bradley Company and Parker Brothers reintroduced different versions of the same game. Hasbro now owns both the Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley rights. The game is currently published by Winning Moves.
The number of spaces on the track, the number of decks of cards, and the number of cards have all fluctuated through the years with the various editions published. The game board has been illustrated several times. The counters have been produced in both painted wood and colored plastic figurines of Uncle Wiggily. The board game in the 50's had six painted metal (probably zinc) counters.
Even though it’s a word game, the real story behind SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game is numbers. One hundred million sets sold world-wide. Between one and two million sold each year in North America. And, of keen interest to legions of passionate players, over 120,000 words that may be used in their scoring arsenal.
The story of the game’s evolution from underground craze to cultural icon is as American as, well, the SCRABBLE game. Alfred Mosher Butts, an out-of-work architect from Poughkeepsie, New York, decided to invent a board game. Analyzing games, he found they fell into three categories: number games, such as dice and bingo; move games, such as chess and checkers and word games, such as anagrams. Attempting to create a game that would use both chance and skill, Butts combined features of anagrams and the crossword puzzle. First called LEXIKO, the game was later called CRISS CROSS WORDS. To decide on letter distribution, Butts studied the front page of The New York Times and did painstaking calculations of letter frequency. His basic cryptographic analysis of our language and his original tile distribution have remained valid for almost three generations and billions of games played.
Established game manufacturers were unanimous in rejecting Butts’ invention for commercial development. Then Butts met James Brunot, a game-loving entrepreneur who became enamored of the concept. Together, they made some refinements on rules and design and, most importantly, came up with the name “SCRABBLE,” a real word which means “to grope frantically.” The game was trademarked SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game in 1948. The Brunots rented an abandoned schoolhouse in Dodgington, Connecticut, where with friends they turned out 12 games an hour, stamping letters on wooden tiles one at a time. Later, boards, boxes and tiles were made elsewhere and sent to the factory for assembly and shipping.
The first four years were a struggle. In 1949 the Brunots made 2,400 sets and lost $450. As so often happens in the game business, the SCRABBLE game gained slow but steady popularity among a comparative handful of consumers. Then in the early 1950s, as legend has it, the president of MACY’S discovered the game on vacation and ordered some for his store. Within a year, everyone “had to have one” to the point that SCRABBLE games were being rationed to stores around the country.
In 1952, the Brunots realized they could no longer make the games fast enough to meet the growing interest. They licensed Long Island-based Selchow & Righter Company, a well-known game manufacturer founded in 1867, to market and distribute the games in the United States and Canada.
Even Selchow & Righter had to step up production to meet the overwhelming demand for the SCRABBLE game. As stories about it appeared in national newspapers, magazines and on television, it seemed that everybody had to have a set immediately. In 1972, Selchow & Righter purchased the trademark from Brunot, thereby giving the company the exclusive rights to all SCRABBLE® Brand products and entertainment services in the United States and Canada.
In 1986, Selchow & Righter was sold to COLECO Industries, who had become famous as the manufacturers of the Cabbage Patch Dolls. Three years later, COLECO declared bankruptcy, and its primary assets — most notably the SCRABBLE game and ParchesiTM — were purchased by Hasbro, Inc., owner of Milton Bradley Company, the nation’s leading game company.
Today the game is found in one of every three American homes, ranging from a Junior edition to a CD-ROM with many versions in between including: Standard, Deluxe with turntable, Deluxe Travel, Spanish and French.
Competitive SCRABBLE game play is widely popular much in the manner of chess and bridge. Every year, a National SCRABBLE® Championship is held in a major US city, and on alternate years the World SCRABBLE® Championship is hosted between Hasbro and Mattel. In addition, the National SCRABBLE® Association sanctions over 180 tournaments and more than 200 clubs in the US and Canada.
The next generation of SCRABBLE players is steadily growing with over a half million kids playing the game in more than 18,000 schools nationwide through the School SCRABBLE Program. Hundreds of these students currently compete in state and regional championships across the country. The first annual National School SCRABBLE® Championship was held in Boston on April 26, 2003. Classrooms can also subscribe to the School SCRABBLE® News which includes a teacher edition complete with tested ideas and a lesson plan designed to meet nationally mandated educational goals, and a student issue chock full of feature stories and puzzles.
Alfred Mosher Butts enjoyed playing the SCRABBLE game with family and friends to the end of his life. He passed away in April 1993 at the age of 93.
The game was designed in 1948 by Olivia Abbott, while she was recovering from polio in San Diego, California. The game was made for and tested by the children in the same wards on the hospital. The children suggested that Abbott submit the game to Milton Bradley Company. The game was bought by Milton Bradley and first published in 1949 as a temporary fill in for their then main product line, school supply. Candy Land became Milton Bradley's best selling game surpassing its previous top seller, Uncle Wiggly, and put the company in the same league as its main competitor, Parker Brothers. The original art has been purported to be by Abbott, but who the artist was remains a mystery.
Hasbro produces several versions of the game and treats it as a brand. For example, they market Candy Land puzzles, a travel version, a personal computer game, and a handheld electronic version.
Candy Land was involved in one of the first disputes over internet domain names in 1996. An adult web content provider registered candyland.com, and Hasbro objected. Hasbro obtained an injunction against the use.
In 2012, Hasbro announced a film which triggered a lawsuit by Landmark Entertainment Group over ownership and royalties owned for the characters and story line introduced in the 1984 edition.
A December 2005 article in Forbes magazine analyzed the most popular American toys by decade, with help from the Toy Industry Association. Candy Land led the list for the 1940–1949 decade. In 2005, the game was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York.
Candy Land (also Candyland) is a simple racing board game currently published by Hasbro. The game requires no reading and minimal counting skills, making it suitable for young children. Due to the design of the game, there is no strategy involved: players are never required to make choices, just follow directions. The winner is predetermined by the shuffle of the cards. A perennial favorite, the game sells about one million copies per year.