Jan 5, 2010

Jan 5 - The Landlord Game (Pre-Monopoly)

Patent Art Print Of The Day!
The Landlord Game / Pre-Monopoly Game Patent
Invented By: Lizzie Magie
Patent Date: January 5, 1904
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This patent 'The Landlord's Game' is a board game patented in 1904 by Elizabeth MagieMagie based the game on the economic principles of Georgism, a system proposed by Henry George.  The object of the game was to demonstrate how rents enrich property owners and impoverish tenants.  Though many similar home-made games were played at the beginning of the 20th century and some predate.

Although The Landlord's Game was patented, it was not taken up by a manufacturer until 1910, when it was published in the U.S. by the Economic Game Company of New York.

Magie moved back to Illinois, her birthplace, where she was married in 1910, moved with her husband to the Washington D.C area, and eventually patented a new version of The Landlord's Game in 1924 (under her married name, Elizabeth Magie Phillips). This version, unlike the illustration depicted in her first patent, included named streets, some named after locations in Chicago.
The Landlord Game / Pre-Monopoly Game Revised Patent
Invented By: Lizzie Magie
Patent Date: September 23, 1924
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Magie held the patent for The Landlord's Game until 1935, when she sold it to Parker Brothers for $500. The company had recently started distributing Charles Darrow's Monopoly and was buying up the patents of various commercial forms of the game in order to claim undisputed rights to selling it. As part of the purchase agreement, which Magie insisted upon, Parker Brothers manufactured and marketed three of her games, one of which was an un-altered version of The Landlord's Game which sold several hundred copies until it was discontinued.

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janysek said...

In those days those who wanted copies of the Monopoly board took a piece of linen and copied in pencil. It was considered an honor not to sell to a commercial producer since it had been prepared by a group of simple tax who were eager to conquer the capitalist system.

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