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  • The design of this board game started in 1904 with a woman named Elizabeth Magie.

  • She was a fan of a book called "Progress and Poverty" by economist Henry George.

  • In it he argued that renting out land only profited a few individuals at the expense of the community.

  • To teach people about George's theories, Lizzie Magie created a game with two sets of rules.

  • In one, players all shared money when someone purchased a piece of land.

  • And in the other, everyone tried to get as rich as possible while bankrupting others.

  • This way she hoped people would see how unfair land-grabbing was.

  • The Landlord's Game, as it was known, became popular, particularly among Quakers.

  • With each person drawing the board by hand onto tablecloths or fabric and modifying the rules.

  • One of those people was Charles Darrow.

  • He would only use the rules that were cutthroat and made a version of the board in the shape of his dining table.

  • He also took street names from Atlantic City, grouping them by color and adding small illustrations to create the board we know today.

  • When Parker Brothers bought the rights to Monopoly from Darrow in 1935, they soon added a portly mascot with a top hat and cane, rumored to be modeled on wealthy banker J.P. Morgan.

  • They also distributed every set with metal tokens, inspired by the trinkets Darrow had used from his niece's charm bracelet.

  • Within a year of the release, 35,000 copies of Monopoly were being made each week.

  • Now more than 1 billion people in 114 countries have played the game.

  • Classic and familiar, this is the design that set out to make us work together but has been dividing families ever since.

The design of this board game started in 1904 with a woman named Elizabeth Magie.

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The Real Story Behind Monopoly

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    Nina posted on 2020/03/08
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