LeRoy Historical Society - page 2

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“Let’s Play”
InMay,we will be opening a new ex-
hibit, “Let’s Play.” It will focus on how
people played. As Einstein said,“Play
is the best form of research.” And
we will be doing some research in
preparation for the exhibit. We hope
you will share some of your stories of
what you remember growing up –
playing with friends or family – play-
ing outside, playing on a rainy day.
Today kids have play days. Historical-
ly, play was more spontaneous and
didn’t require a lot of structure. In-
stead of playing games, kids made up
games. How often did you hear your
mother to tell you to go outside and
play. As adults we often find it hard to
find time to play. Although one of the
advantages of having grandchildren
is the chance to play.
According to an exhibit at the
Strong Museum of Play there are
six elements of play: anticipation,
surprise, pleasure, understanding,
strength, and poise. Play allows us to
compete, explore, and learn. We don’t
stop playing because we grow old.
We grow old because we stop playing.
This is only the first of several ques-
tionnaires that will help contribute
information for the exhibit.
Please take the time to read through
the questions and send your com-
ments back to us.
PLAYING CARDS
Were you allowed to play cards on
Sunday?
Did you or your parents belong to a
card playing club or group?
Did you play cards as a family?
Did you play for money?
Did you have a favorite deck of cards?
Where did you play cards?
Did you have a card table?
Do you have a card table now?
Did you ever cheat at cards?
Was food part of playing cards?
Was drinking, smoking part of
playing cards?
Have you ever played cards at a casino?
Is cards a game of luck? Is cards a
game of skill?
What is your
favorite card
game?
What card games do you remem-
ber? Which card games do you still
play?
Hearts
Canasta
Rummy
Euchre
War
Pitch
Michigan Rummy
Poker
Whist
Bridge
Crazy Eights
BOARD GAMES
became popu-
lar with the improvements in litho-
graphic printing in the early 1800s.
The earliest board games were based
on teaching morality. Games often
came with a six-sided top called a tee
totem or a spinner, because playing
with dice was considered, by many,
to be too similar to gambling.
Here is the history of some of the
more popular board games
Parcheesi
is an American brand
name of an adaptation of an ancient
game from India. It was copyrighted
in 1869 by E.G. Selchow. However, it
is popular in many other countries
under different names. In Spain it is
known as Parchis and in England as
Ludo. In India it is called the Royal
Game of India and at one time the
royalty played the game using cos-
tumed servants who moved on large
outdoor boards.
Monopoly
was developed from
another game that originated in
1903. Lizzie Philips developed the
Landlords’s Game as an educational
game to explain taxes.Various games
which allowed players to buy and
sell property were based on her ver-
sion, but it was Parker Brothers who
developed a game called Monopoly
which was offered in 1935. An urban
legend erroneously credited Charles
Darrow with the invention of mo-
nopoly.
Candyland
was developed in 1945
by Eleanor Abbott, while she was re-
covering from polio. The game was
bought by Milton Bradley Company
and was first published in 1949. The
game was inducted into the Toy Hall
of Fame in 2005 at the Strong Mu-
seum.
Uncle Wiggily
was based on Uncle
Wiggily Longears, a character intro-
duced in 1910 in a series of children’s
stories written by Howard Roger
Garis. The Milton Bradley Company
introduced the game in 1916.
Scrabble
is a trademarked game
created by an American architect, Al-
fred Mosher Butts. His original game
was called Lexikowhich he later modi-
fied and sold under the name of Criss-
Crosswords in 1938. In 1948, one of
Butts’ partners James Brunot, bought
the rights to manufacture Criss-Cross-
words in exchange for granting Butts
a royalty on every unit sold. Brunot
changed the name to Scrabble.
In 1949, Brunot and his family pro-
duced 2,400 sets in a converted
former schoolhouse in Newtown,
Massachusetts. In 1952, after several
years of little success, Brunot sold the
manufacturing rights to Selchow and
Righter of Long Island. The story is
told that Jack Straus, president of Ma-
cy’s had discovered the game while
on vacation and was upset when he
learned that his store did not carry
the game. Macy’s placed a large or-
der, and the success of Scrabble was
established.
In 1972, Selchow and Righter
bought the trademark to the game.
In 1986, the company was sold to
Coleco, who soon went bankrupt.
Coleco’s assets, including Scrabble
and Parcheesi were purchased by
Hasbro, which sells the games under
their Parker Brothers Division. Prior to
1999, Scrabble was sold as a Milton
Bradley game.
Outside the United States and
Canada it is a trademark of Mattel.
At one time, it was estimated that
Black Jack
Old Maid
Cribbage
Go Fish
Uno
Pinochle
Solitaire
Slap Jack
Authors
Others?
1 3,4,5,6
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