Never heard of "The Landlord's Game"? Neither have most of the entire population of our country since dating back to 1904 - the first year this game was patented. That's because we now know the game by a different name - "Monopoly". I'm sure you've heard of that one.
|The 1906 version of "The Landlord's Game"|
She succeeded in getting a patent on the game, but could not find a company to publish it. So in 1906 she formed her own company to manufacture the board game. She attempted to sell the game to Parker Brothers in 1910, but was declined since it was a hard game to understand. I agree with Parker Brothers. I find this game to be very hard to get excited about.
From 1910 to 1932, the game expanded into different versions with different titles including "Monopoly", but was mostly used in college settings to teach economics and was more often handmade in the variations. Through the years, Magie tried several times to get Parker Brothers interested in the game, but was turned away because it was "too political". She did re-patent her game in 1924 and tried to control all the homemade variations under that patent. (That sounds like an impossible task)
Despite this confusing background, the game we know as "Monopoly" has been credited to Charles Darrow as the inventor. There's a story here somewhere... In 1933, the handmade version of the game was taught to Charles Darrow who duplicated it by hand several time before finding a printer to publish it. The game was becoming more popular even if the Parker Brothers didn't want to touch it. Finally, in 1935 Parker Brothers relented (after Christmas sales the year before had been off the charts) and decided to publish "Monopoly", but under a patent taken out by Charles Darrow. The game became an instant hit under the myth that it was created by Mr. Darrow.
After many years and many versions of "Monopoly", it's still a very sought-after game today. In fact, when my eldest son was growing up, he invented his own version of this game, calling it "Washington Cartel." Maybe he should see if that game would be picked up by Parker Brothers today seeing this term is often used by one of the presidential candidates.
Information taken from Wikipedia and The Secret History of Monopoly.