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Today in My History

2000:  Taking Care of Business
2001:  
Chunky Schmootz & the Dust Bunnies
2002: 
The Great Man is Dead
2003: 
Violated
2004:  
Get a Long Little Doggie
2005: 
No More Puppies
2006: 
It's All Relative
2007: 
Magic Eyelids, Part II
2008:  Moments Frozen in Time
2009:   I Miss Jeri   
2010:   Like Pulling Teeth
2011:   GRUB 2011
2012:  Low Bridge, Everybody Down
2013:  In Search of Fog
2014:  I Love this Stuff
2015:  A Heart That's Breaking

2016:  Little Treasures
2017:  Howard Hupe
2018:  Bang, Bang, Bang
2019:  Sunday Stealing
2020:  Whew


Theater Reviews
Updated 7/10/21
Shrek

Books Read in 2021
 Updated 6/29
"Written in my own
Heart's Blood"
Diana Gabaldon


My family

Bev's 65 x 365

Books Read in 2021
Books Read in 2020

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010


Cast (updated 7/16)

Email
(you know how to fix it)
 


Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Piñata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?
Sold!


mail to Walt / mail to Bev  s

MONOPOLY

21 July 2021

In the 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression, a down-on-his-luck family man named Charles Darrow invented a game to entertain his friends and loved ones, using an oilcloth as a playing surface. He called the game Monopoly, and when he sold it to Parker Brothers he became fantastically rich—an inspiring Horatio Alger tale of homegrown innovation if ever there was one.

Actually, Monopoly’s story began decades earlier, with an all-but-forgotten woman named Lizzie Magie, an artist, writer, feminist and inventor.


Magie worked as a stenographer and typist at the Dead Letter Office in Washington, D.C., a repository for the nation’s lost mail. But she also appeared in plays, and wrote poetry and short stories. In 1904, Magie received a patent for an invention she called the Landlord’s Game, a square board with nine rectangular spaces on each side, set between corners labeled “Go to Jail” and “Public Park.” Players circled the board buying up railroads, collecting money and paying rent. She made up two sets of rules, “monopolist” and “anti-monopolist,” but her stated goal was to demonstrate the evils of accruing vast sums of wealth at the expense of others. A firebrand against the railroad, steel and oil monopolists of her time, she told a reporter in 1906, “In a short time, I hope a very short time, men and women will discover that they are poor because Carnegie and Rockefeller, maybe, have more than they know what to do with.”

The Landlord’s Game was sold for a while by a New York-based publisher, but it spread freely in passed-along homemade versions: among intellectuals along the Eastern Seaboard, fraternity brothers at Williams College, Quakers living in Atlantic City, writers and radicals like Upton Sinclair.

It was a Quaker iteration that Darrow copied and sold to Parker Brothers in 1935, along with his tall tale of inspired creation, a new design by his friend F.O. Alexander, a political cartoonist, and what is surely one of U.S. history’s most-repeated spelling errors: “Marvin Gardens,” which a friend of Darrow’s had mistranscribed from “Marven Gardens,” a neighborhood in the Atlantic City area.


charles darrow
 

Monopoly became a hit, selling 278,000 copies in its first year and more than 1,750,000 the next. But the game lost its connection to Magie and her critique of American greed, and instead came to mean pretty much the opposite of what she’d hoped. It has taught generations to cheer when someone goes into bankruptcy.

Charles Darrow, envisioned players using small items from around their homes as playing pieces. It was at the suggestion of Darrow’s niece that the pieces be charms from a girl’s charm bracelet.  The first Monopoly tokens, produced in 1937, were the car, the iron, the lantern, the thimble, the shoe, the top hat, and the rocking horse.

Later that same year, a dog, a battleship and a cannon were added to raise the number of tokens to ten.


There are various theories as to why those particular icons were chosen.

The metal top hat was based on the hat the game’s leading character, the wealthy Mr Monopoly would wear and the shoe was modeled on the basic work shoe of the era, produced as a symbol that hard work pays.

Like the shoe, the wheelbarrow was said to be a symbol of hard work.  Which basically means the game ended up as rich versus poor.

Author and game expert John Chaneski revealed: “The car, top hat, and dog were all possessions of the wealthy. “The thimble, wheelbarrow, old shoe, and iron were possessions or tools of the poor.”

My favorite piece was the iron.  I don't have a clue why, since I never iron and hate ironing, but for all the decades that I played Monopoly, I always used the iron....and then they replaced it with a cat in 1999.  I won't be able to play Monopoly again!  Perhaps saddest to see the iron go is Monopoly World Champion, Bjorn Halvard Knappskog, who used the piece in his last championship match.
 

PHOTO OF THE DAY

 

Remember when gas prices were this low?

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