31st December 1935: Monopoly board game patented - zigjogos.com

31st December 1935: Monopoly board game patented

Views: 12206
Like: 104
Although the patent for the game was awarded to Charles B. Darrow, a Philadelphia heating salesman who had lost his job during the Great Depression, it’s now widely recognised that he was just one of many people who developed the complex design and rules that we now know as Monopoly.

As early as 1902 an Illinois-born writer and engineer called Elizabeth Magie created a board game called The Landlord’s Game which bears striking similarities to Monopoly. She patented this game in 1904 and approached Parker Brothers with the idea in around 1910. Although they declined to publish it, her self-produced copies became popular with Quakers, university students, and members of the public who supported Georgist economics.

Magie, by now married and with the new name Phillips, re-patented an updated version in 1924 and was again turned down by Parker Brothers. However, the updated version spread widely through word-of-mouth, with Charles Darrow’s wife eventually learning it. Darrow began to distribute his own version of the game, and in October 1934 was himself rejected by Parker Brothers who found the game “too complicated, too technical, [and] took too long to play.” However, successful Christmas sales led Parker Brothers to reverse their decision and the game from Darrow in March 1935. Before the end of the year they learnt that he was not the sole inventor, but pressed ahead with the purchase and helped him secure a patent, while they bought up the patents to similar games – including The Landlord’s Game – to ensure that they had definitive ownership of the idea.


  1. To the contrary, MONOPOLY, plagiarized by Parker Brothers, bears striking similarities to The Landlord's Game invented by Lizzie Magie. See, The Billion Dollar Swindle by Ralph Anspach. Magie's Landlord's game was designed to instruct in the perils of MONOPOLY as explained by American born economic philosopher Henry George, in his best selling book Progress & Poverty. If anything, Darrow was at minimum dishonest, and developed little if anything to do with Magie's game.

  2. I hate capitalism “sometimes”…that is F’d up…period…

  3. This is ANOTHER way of seeing this story. This helps with a different perspective.

  4. I think she was turned down because she was a woman.

  5. How ironic for a game that warns about monopolies… end up getting owned by a monopoly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.