Number of versions: 12
Edition: December 22, 2011
In this chapter you will find a few of the socalled folk games
described as well as more recent self-made game boards with an interesting
A folk game called monopoly was played extensively all over the
Eastern half of the United States between about 1910 to 1936. Players
personalized the game with their local street names. It was a derivative of
"The Landlord's Game" by
Lizzie Magie, which was patented by her in 1904. In all likelyhood, it was also
Magie who changed this game into monopoly. (Also
see much more on Thomas Forsyth's site "Early Game History - 1903 to 1936").
(Click on picture for larger image.)
The board "Public Treasure" is on loan from 9 december 2011 by
Thomas Forsyth to
The Strong- National Museum of Play -
Rochester,N.Y. where it is permanently exposed in the "Monopoly: An American
The game now sold as Monopoly was actually invented in and around the
Atlantic City Friends School. The invention was a cooperative effort centered on
Ruth Hoskins and Jesse Raiford, Cyril and Ruth Harvey. (See
Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle", by Ralph Anspach,
190, 2nd ed.page 296). The game was taught to
Charles Darrow by the Quakers and he commercialized it with 5,000 sets, claiming
falsely he had invented it. He then licensed it to Parker Brothers in 1934.
Ralph Anspach is now (1999) marketing a replica of the game invented by the
Quakers under the name "The ORIGINAL monopoly game".
John Heap Landlord/Monopoly
Maker: John Heap - ±1913
Owned by: The Strong-National Museum of Play - Rochester, N.Y.
The museum gives the following explanation of this game:
"The Heap game was an important piece of evidence in a Monopoly copyright dispute
that began in 1974 and spanned a decade.
John Heap was a civil engineer working for the Pennsylvania Railroad in Altoona.
Museum guests can see that Heap’s board
reflects his careful design and skills as an
engineer and it represents his home town of Altoona, with still-existing streets
marked in pen, and postcards showing local landmarks."
is now on permanent display in the corner
"Monopoly: An American Icon" since December 9, 2011 at
the National Museum of Play.
(Click on picture for larger image.)
Maker: Prof. Roy Stryker and his wife - ±1927
Owner: Philip Orbanes - Boston
Dimensions of the square oilcloth: 36 x 40" (0.91 x 1.02 m )
(Click on picture for larger image.)
This is what Philip Orbanes told me about this set he could add to his
collection in December of 2002:
"A student named Rexford Tugwell learned the
game from Prof. Nearing at the Univ. of Pennsylvania.
Tugwell became Stryker's economics professor at Columbia University. Stryker
also became a professor of economics at Columbia. He and his wife made this copy
of the game, either while he was a student or shortly thereafter. I believe the
reason why the street names are from around the country is that they were
suggested by students and friends who played the game with the Strykers. The
little planning sheets that came with this handmade game are priceless because
they show the thought and care that went into the design of the board and its
selection of colors.
The reason why Stryker's game is not mentioned in
Prof.Ralph Anspach's book is because it was forgotten until recently. After Stryker went to
Washington, Parker published Monopoly and the Stryker's packed their game away. The Strykers moved back to Colorado after leaving Washington,
DC in the late 1930s. When they
died, the box was left to their daughter. When she died, her two daughters
inherited it. One of them heard of me and offered to sell it as
they had no further interest in the game. I think this game has special
significance because it fills a void. Namely, it is still called Landlord and
yet it is from the early 1920s, but it has some of Monopoly's
features. It also
retains many of the Landlords game's features and thus appears to be a missing
link between the two."
See for more detail pictures and different
information the historical site of Thomas
Forsyth in Portland - Oregon - USA.
The names of the spaces on the board are mainly found in
New York City and nearby Northern New Jersey. However, a few were likely named in honor of places of importance to their friends.
From HOME on
all numbered properties are:
Peoria, Ill. - Alameda, Cal. -
Absolute Necessities - No Trespassing/Go To Jail -
Jazzmania and Western R.R. - Winnepesaukee,
N.H. - Pottawottamie, Mich. - Speculation
- Kabinagagami, Ont. - Jail/War Tax
Ann Arbor, Mich. - Nescopeck,
Pa. - The Public Serve Us Gas and Light Co.
- Aldene, N.J. - The
Erie R.R. - Washington Heights
- The Bowery - Necessity
Doctor - Jackson Heights - Central
Park Free - Hohokus, N.J. - Hoboken,
N.J. - Chance - Weehowken,
N.J. - New York, New Haven, and Death
R.R./Communication - Mosquito Terrace -
Crimson Rambler Appartments -
The Toonerville Trolly Co. - Huletts Landing - Go to Jail/Keep off. This
means YOU. - Newport Mews - Hylan-Hurst -
Absolute Necessity Food-Clothing -
Westchester Country Club - Pacific Philadelphia Rail Road Co./Freight -
Fith Avenue - Chance/Oil
Stocks - Wall Street and Luxury
Tax/Pay $ 75.
J.Magie's 1904 patent gives following explanation for certain spaces:
necessities: These spaces, which are preferably blue,
indicate absolute necessities - such as bread, coal, shelter, and clothing -
and when a player stops upon any of these he must pay five dollars into the
represents indirect taxation.)
trespassing: Spaces marked "No trespassing" represent property
held out of use, and when a player stops on one of these spaces he must go
to jail and remain there until he throws a double or until he pays into the
"Public treasury" a fine of fifty dollars. When he comes out, he
must count from the space immediately in front of the jail.
These spaces, preferably purple,
represents the luxuries of life, and if a player stops on a
"Luxury" he pays 50 dollars to the "Public treasury",
receiving in return a luxury ticket, which counts him 60 dollars at the end
of the game.
Some remarkable differences of this Landlord Game compared to the patent are:
starting corner is Home, rather than Mother Earth.
board's centre field is totally empty, whereas Lizzie Magie suggested
to divide this square into 4 divisions for the reception of the boxes
"Wages", "Bank", "Public treasury" and
the Lizzie patent says coal taxes of $ 5 to be payed, prof.
Stryker changed it into a War tax of $ 10.00, apparently influenced
by the hard times after WW I (1914-1919).
The third corner is a Free Park rather than
All 38 property deeds and Chance
cards are neutral and without any color bar nor -triangle. The texts are
typed out. Some examples of the simple instructions on the (unnamed) Chance
Hooke $ 100
Swipe $ 50
War profits $ 25
Pay $ 10
While Lizzie states in her 1904 patent there
are "notes" and "money" Ron only applied following coins (laundry-tags):
50x $100 - 25x $50 - 25x $25 - 50x $10
- 50x $ 5
and 100x $1.
There are no hotels, only handmade and painted, flat, unique houses.
They are 32 in number. The price of the houses is $ 100.- for all properties.
Each time a house is added to the property its rent doubles, a whole street
built with 1 house redoubles the rent again, ect. The tokens are 6
triangular wooden blocs.
The typed Rules comprises less than one sheet.
Maker: unknown - ±1933
Owners: The family of the late Mr. Howard F. Weber
Dimensions of the square oilcloth: 80 x 80 cm (!) cm
Joan Weber from Sinking Spring, PA - USA, the actual owner of this set tells about
"We inherited the game from my husband Bill's parents. When his mother passed away in 1989, the game was found rolled up in her dresser, along with all the pieces.
Bill and his older sister
played the game with their parents when they were young. The Weber family linage goes back five generations based in Scranton and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
Bill was born in East Stroudsburg, and the streets on the game are personalized in and around Stroudsburg,
Pa. His grandparents lived on
As far as the Rules are concerned ... my husband tells me that the family never
had any written down Rules, his mother "just knew the Rules, which they
Bill's older sister states and believes that their parents knew and were friends of Charles Darrow.
The oilcloth Monopoly board is 31½ inches square, and the edges are slightly tattered
given that is was rolled up in a dresser for so many years. Although, the game really is
in quite good condition, the paint is quite brilliant on the board and the deeds, which paint matches. We have the
houses and hotels, which are made out of wooden molding. The houses are
one inch in length and the hotels are two inches in length. We have 24 houses and 5 hotels. Also, we have the
play money which is quite beautiful and colorful.
The Community Chest, Chance cards and deeds are all typewritten."
After studying the pictures of this oilcloth Ralph Anspach came to the
"The design seems to be very close to what might have been an experimental version created by Darrow since it is
very close to Monopoly®. Since the owners knew Darrow, my guess is that he experimented with the game with his friends and they then
personalized it. The rectangular color coded panels were often used by folk game players in their designs."
From the above my conclusion is that this Stroudburg monopoly
dates from about 1933.
The street names, utilities and railroads include from Go onwards:
1st St. - Community Chest - 2nd
St. - Pay Income Tax 10% - D&H RR - Day
St. - Chance - Bryant St. - New
St. - Jail - State St. - Elec.Co.
- Court St. - Main
St. - Penn.RR - Wallace St.
- Community Chest - Sarah St. -
- Free Parking - Oak St.
- Walnut St. - Chance - Chestnut
St. - Lehigh RR - Andrews Ave. - Burton Ave. - Water
Works - Mason Ave. - Go To Jail - Cherry Lane - Riverside
Dr. - Community Chest - Scottland Rd.
- DL&W RR - Chance - Grove Place - Pay Luxury Tax $75
and Elaine Place.
I've on purpose added the rather poor section of the "Go To Jail"
space in order to get a good impression of the oilcloth. The cloth's back
side shows a pattern of squares-in-squares. Further more is to be seen on
the playing surface that:
there are no prices mentioned on the board spaces.
the Chance and Community Chest spaces are both alongside the first side.
there is nothing in the game board's midfield.
the illustrations of the RR, Jail, Electric Works, Free Parking and Water
Works are very plain.
The 28 property cards (127x 75 mm) are typewritten on
cardstock that is color coded to the playing surface. The Mortgage Value
is written under the rent prices and there is only one "Cost to
There are 62 Chance-
and Community Chest typewritten cards (64x75 mm) on cardstock.
Both Chance- and Community Chest cards now yellow with age,but
most probably white when new. These cards are separated and distinguished apart according to the back of the
cards which have, handwritten in pencil, C and CC respectively.
Some of the texts on the Community Chest and Chance cards that deviate from todays editions read as follows:
Go to Incomce Tax or to Jail.
Hail storm broke your window. Pay $ 25
Your bank balance is below $ 100. Pay $ 1.
You have won second price in a beauty contest. Collect $ 11.
Church benevolence $ 10
The owner of the Pennsylvania R.R. whises to refund you $ 15.
All 26 wooden houses (25 mm) and 5 wooden hotels (50
mm!) are brown. The banknotes
actually are "coupons of value" (6.8x14.2 cm). They are all yellow-orange
on one side with "Rubenstein's - New York" printed in black on the bottom and green on the reverse.
The game has a total of 23,993 coupons of value, divided as follows:128 one's
- 89 five's - 79 ten's - 79 twenty's - 87 fifty's -
97 one hundred's and 14 five hundred's.
It was put up for an auction on ebay
in November 2001 for the amount of $ 5,000.
Maker: Charles E.Todd - Germantown, PA - ±1932/33
Dimensions of the oil cloth: about 80 x 80 cm
Prof.Ralph Anspach explains in his book (1st ed.page
72-74, 2nd ed.page 126-129) how Charles B. Darrow
learned about and subsequently stole the Monopoly design and Rules. Charles
Todd (a Quaker friend of Gene and Ruth Raiford) told Ralph:
".... After dinner, we introduced them (Darrow and his
wife Esther) to monopoly. We could see Darrow really loved the game and
Esther, who was always a little critical, didn't say a word against it which
was high praise for her. I tried my level best to teach them all I had learned
from Gene and Ruth Raiford. "Are you sure you introduced them to
it? They didn't just feign ignorance to set you up for a beating?"
"No, no,no. It was clear from the first moment that there was no question
this game was completely new to the Darrows." ...
"I remember very clearly the last time we played together. He asked me if
I had any written instructions he could borrow. I told him I had never felt it
necessary to write down the rules, because for us it was just a fun game. So
he said, "Would you do Esther and me a favor and make up a set of written
instructions for us plus anything you think ought to be changed or
improved?" .... "So I got my secretary to type them up for him - with
twelve carbon copies." ...
While we were talking, his wife Olive was rummaging through a beatiful antique
chest decorating the corner of the room. Finally, she found what she was
looking for. She showed me a blue oil
cloth and an Old Maid's game box. I examined them. "Is this the oil
cloth and game equipment you used when you played with the Darrows? The one he
"Darn right," boomend Todd. .... If I hadn't seen it with my own
eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. The oil cloth was almost a twin of
Monopoly. Exactly the same Atlantic City street names, like Boardwalk,
Pennsylvania Avenue and Marvin Gardens. Same utilities and railroad .. Go, Jail,
Free Parking and Go To Jail, Community Chest, and Chance. This wasn't
the Landlords game nor the monopoly folkgames I had heretofore encountered
because those games still had some trivial differences from Monopoly. ... The
only difference was that the familiar rectangular colored panels on which the
street names are printed in Monopoly here where small colored-coded triangles
and the street names were printed not parallel to the edge of the board but
downward toward the center.
I examined the contents of the old maid's box. On the back of the cards,
someone had typed directions, such as "Go to Jail", "Take a
walk on the Boardwalk", "Pay the community chest $25.00" and
"Pay visiting nurse $5.00". The title cards were little rectangular
pieces of paper with typed mortgage values. I checked the values later against
the Monopoly title cards. No difference. The box also held houses and hotels.
They were cut out of wood molding by an amateur carpenter. .... It also struck
me that up till now all the folkgame monopoly boards I had discovered were
made on wood, cardboard or linen cloth. This was the first on on oil
As Todd copied Jesse Raiford's original Atlantic City game board, on
which the most expensive yellow
street is Marven Gardens, which straddles two Atlantic City
neighborhoods, Margate and Ventor, he erroneously wrote Marvin Gardens.
Also notice the following:
No prices mentioned on the spaces.
No illustrations, nor on the corner fields, nor on Electric Co., Water
Works, Rail Roads, Chance and Community Chest.
The Chance-space is (very) close to the Free Parking corner, rather than
to the Go-corner.
No name of the game in the center of the game board.
Maker: Charles B.Darrow - ±1933
Museum of Play, the Strong - Rochester, N.Y.
Diameter of the circular oilcloth: 85 (!) cm
(Click on picture for larger image.)
C.B.D used a circular oil cloth at first just to be different from the
Quackers but he must have found out soon that retailers don't like circular
games since they take up too much room.
The purchase of this set by The Forbes Magazine Galleries is described as
follows in the Maine Antique Digest, Febr. 1993:
"Forbes Magazine Collection Pays Record Price for Monopoly But Has
No Monopoly on Monopoly.
An original Monopoly game, handmade by Charles Darrow, probably in 1933, that
descended through Darrow's brother-in-law's family sold at Sotheby's on
December 16, 1992, for $ 71,500, a record for an American board game.The
buyer was the Forbes Magazine Collection.
The game is drawn on a circular piece of oilcloth, probably the shape of
Darrow's dining table. It is one of the earliest sets to survive, one of three
calligraphic sets known to exist, and the only circular one. The rules are
believed to have been supplied by a friend of Darrow's, Charles E.Todd of
Germantown, Pennsylvania, who had taught the Darrows to play
Monopoly. Darrow asked Todd to write out the rules as he remembered them and
change anything that needed improving. Todd reportedly had his secretary make up
a dozen sheets.
The record game consists of a manuscript "board" on circular off-white
oilcloth, 33½" diameter, the typscript set of rules on machine-made wove
paper watermarked with an interlocking VV in an oblong lozenge, and
214 playing pieces, comprising 28 deeds, 14 Chance and 14 Community Chest cards,
hotels and houses made of brown-stained
pine, money in $500, $100, $50, and $20 denominations printed from line blocks
in green (front) and yellow,
yellow-orange, or orange
(back), and seven playing tokens (possibly not original).
Darrow's early calligraphic sets have generally turned up in Quaker families in
the Philadelphia area. The circular one sold at Sotheby's was given in
1933 to Darrow's brother-in-law, J.Barclay Jones of Radnor, Pennsylvania and
then to his mother-in-law, Emily Bishop Harvey of Radnor, and then in 1933-34 to
her cousin, Margaret Bishop Dawson, from whom it descended to the
18 years later this circular oil cloth was sold again, for more than double
the purchase price, at Sotheby's as it was announced on 17 December, 2010: "
"A packed salesroom of toy collectors and enthusiasts
watched as The Malcolm Forbes Toy Collection achieved
$2,388,637 today at Sotheby’s New York. The collection
of toy boats, soldiers, motorcycles and classic board games
was lovingly gathered over nearly four decades by legendary
collector Malcolm Forbes and his sons.
major highlight from today’s sale was an original
game-set of circular design, handmade by Charles
probably 1933, and descended in his family. The gameset
for $146,500, well-above the $80,000 high estimate. It
the earliest Darrow set known to survive, the only one of circular shape,
and the earliest to include the rules.
was purchased by The Strong- National Museum of Play -
Rochester,N.Y. and since 9 December 2011 on permanent display in the corner
"Monopoly: An American Icon."
Maker: Charles B. Darrow - Germantown, PA - 1933/34
Dimensions of the oil cloth: about 80 x 80 cm
Since the Quackers used to make their games on oil cloths, Darrow did the same!
Another proof of the fact Darrow copied Todd's game board is he copied
Todd's mistake with the Marvin Gardens property as well.
Differences in finish, compared to Todd's set copied:
There are prices mentioned on the board's spaces.
There are color bars on the street spaces.
The Chance- and Community Chest spaces on the game board are
next to the "wrong corners" as well. However, the
No treasure chest yet on the Community Chest spaces.
Strange question mark on the concerning fields.
The "stations" already are illustrated with todays
We also recognize the car on the Free Parking corner.
However, there is a strange Jail on the concerning corner space.
The Electric Co. and Water Works spaces are illustrated with unusual
No name of the game in the center of the game board.
Tim Walsh writes in his book
"The Playmakers" (page 49-51) about Charles' hand manufactured boards:
"Taking oilcloth (a cheap fabric with a washable surface used for tablecloths), Darrow first tried making a circular game board.
He added more color to the property spaces and, more importantly, illustrations that brought the game to life. The famous
black Railroad silhouettes, the red
car on Free Parking, the red arrow and
boxy letters on the GO space, the Water Works faucet, the Chance question marks and the
pointing hand for the space marked Go To Jail did not appear on any pre-existing Monopoly games. Bill Darrow
(Charles' son) contends that all of these legendary icons were the direct work of his father. "He didn't have any money to hire an artist yet. He used stencils for the railroads and the rest was all hand-painted."
Phil Orbanes, former senior president of research and development at Parker
Brothers, says, "Darrow gave Monopoly its first visual signature. His
artist stylized the corners of the board ... and created the first copyrightable
look, the look that all of America has come to know, the look that represents
the game of Monopoly."
In 1933, Darrow copyrighted his version of the game and began selling homemade copies of it to friends and associates. "It took
him all day to turn out a single game," Bill Darrow said. "A local lumber yard gave him some old pine moldings that he cut to make the houses and hotels." Darrow produced the game for about $1.00 and sold it
for $2.00, not a bad profit in the dark days of the Depression, yet he knew he could sell more if he could make them faster. "As you can well imagine it was pretty damn labor intensive," Bill said. "He just got snowed in and it was just a matter of time before he went running down to Patterson."
"Patterson" was Lytton Patterson, Jr., a friend of Charles Darrow and owner of Patterson and White Printing in Philadelphia. To automate whatever part of the manufacturing process he could at an affordable cost, Darrow hired Patterson and White to print only the
black outlines on a limited number of oilcloth boards, which he would then hand color.
With Patterson's help, Darrow doubled his output to two games a day, but demand still outpaced his ability to hand color the board, hand cut the hotels and houses, and type up the rules and game cards. When Patterson and White took over the bulk of the production, leaving Darrow to paint the boards and assemble the sets by hand with the help of this wife and young son, the entrepreneur was able to make
six games a day. It still wasn't enough."
of a hand-made edition
Publisher: Most probably Charles B.Darrow -1933/34
Dimentions of the board: see above and below
This picture was put at my disposal by Ken Koury - USA, practicing
attorney by day and a Monopoly buff by night.
On page 175 of his book "Monopoly,
The world's most famous game" Philip Orbanes has following comments
on these attributes:
"I noticed that these cards bore a striking resemblance to the typed,
hand-painted components fashioned by Charles Darrow in 1933 and early 1934.
While their origine was uncertain, there were several clues. They seemed to be
the work of someone in a hurry. There
are misspellings ("Ilionois") and the paint on the title deeds was
sloppily applied - exactly what you would expect from someone impatient with
performing this task day in and day out. The typeface resembled that on the
hand-typed Darrow cards on display in the Forbes Gallery.
While these clues were not conclusive, Ken Koury may well have found a rare
set of components handmade by Charles Darrow."
However, a few years later
researchers discovered the above mentioned considerations to be capable of
The most striking point is the fact that Darrow hasn't made property cards
that included the phrase "Title deed" prior to November 1935.
In addition Darrow's own handmade sets had the colored stripe at the bottom
of each card, not the top as we see in this set. There were no cards of
this type prior to the Darrow Black Box set of 1935.
So the most logical conclusion is that these attributes have been copied
from an early 1936 Parker Brothers Monopoly set and moreover by someone else
than Charles Darrow and ±1936 at the earliest.
Ken payd US$ 29.- for these attributes on ebay.
Atlantic City CBD-board - unfinished
Maker: Charles B. Darrow -1933/34
Dimensions of the oil cloth: about
80 x 80 cm
This picture of Phil Orbanes showing a framed Darrow oil cloth board was
taken inside the Parker archives in 1988. Darrow would have hand-colored
them after return from the printer, his friend Patterson, who mastered the art
of printing on oilcloth. (see above).
This means it is one of the first boards made in series and still partly hand
crafted. That is why it must have been printed late 1933-early1934 after
the unique hand made game boards made by CBD and before his White Box
edition, which he started to produce by the fall of 1934.
I feel this version have to be mentioned in this chapter on "Self-made
Atlantic City CBD-board, Tie-box edition
Maker: Charles B. Darrow -1933/34
Dimensions of the oil cloth: 58.4 x 58.4 cm
Box length: 61 cm
The game: (Click
on the pictures for a slightly better image)
April 9, 2008 edition of Antique Trader announced the live auction, on
April 12, of this edition by Noel Barrett in New Hope - PA.
It got lot number 512 and in the last 53 seconds of the bidding between 3
bidders its price rose from $ 32,500 to the final price of
$ 42,500 (excl. $ 8,000 commision)!
is how Noel Barrett introduced this game:
Monopoly set is one of only two known examples of what is referred to as
the 'tie box' version of this ever popular game. The printed oil cloth
'board', which rolls around a rigid cardboard tube for storage, was hand
colored by the Charles Darrow himself - the man credited with bringing the
game to Parker Brothers.
The other known example is sometimes on display at the Hasbro headquarters.
Hasbro now holds the rights to the game. The set has the full complement of property
cards, 15 each of Chance and Community Chest cards, 4 figural
metal tokens, along with a quantity of wooden house and hotels. Also
included is a printed copy of the original type written instructions.
The first Darrow set was laid out on circular oil cloth. He later switched to a
square board and when tired of hand lettering and lining the board himself he
began having the cloth printed. In computer speak this would be version 2.1.
This is a unique opportunity to acquire one of the iconic pieces of American
board game history.
Provenance: This game was given to a lady who home-nursed Mrs. Darrow after
child birth. It was consigned by the sole heir of the former nurse. For many
years it sat in a closet in Easton, PA - unused since the children of the
household much preferred the folding board version of the game.
sq., box 24" l.
Condition Report: excellent (there is a 6"
clean tear in the cloth near one corner, there is a removable tape repair on the
back side which renders the tear near invisible from the front)"
Maker: Elmer Fisher - 1936
Owners: Mr.Ray Brewton family
Dimensions of the board: 62.5 x 62.5 x 4.2 cm
Rev. Marjie Brewton from Bryant-SD-USA tells about this set:
"This wooden, hand-made Monopoly game was a gift to my mother Esther
Solberg when she graduated from high school in 1936. It was made for her by her
uncle Elmer Fisher during the time he was confined to the tuberculosis section
of the Herman Kiefer Hospital in Detroit - Michigan.
The board is of handpainted varnished plywood. All of the buildings
are built to scale of what he could see out of his hospital room window! Besides
the houses and hotels, he added apartment buildings and 4 skyscrapers from the
Detroit skyline. The Photo Archivist of the Burton Historical Collection of the
Detroit Public Library could identify three of the four skyscrapers, namely:
The Fisher Building, from the Fisher Body Works, which is now part
of General Motors Corp.
The Buhl Buiding, well recognizable by it's cross shape.
The Penobscot Building, actually having a radio tower-like
structure with a red ball on top.
Above that he made one Fox Theatre (in red
with FOX written in white), which is still in operation, one Hospital
(white building with red roof) and 2
garages (yellow buildings with red
roofs) where you can "get your flats fixed".
In the match you first buy a house, then one apartment building,
then a hotel and finally a skyscraper. There are 12 different
colored apartment buildings, all having a black roof. It is said the apartment
buildings look like the St. Eloise Mental Hospital.
Unlike in the regular Monopoly set Elmer made 20 (white) houses with different
colored roofs. He also made but 4 (brown)
hotels all having a red roof.
The garages, theatre and skyscrapers can only be built on 4 properties: Joseph
Campeau Ave. (1st side), Dexter Blvd. (2nd
side), Grand River Ave. (3rd side)
and Woodward Ave. (4th side). The Woodward Ave. card for example reads as
$ 400 + 1 Garage
$ 400 + 1 Theatre
He made all the property cards (dim.: 70 x 75 mm) with a typewriter
and oil paint. The Chance- and Grab Bag cards are typed with hand
drawn edgings of red and blue
ink. (He changed Community Chest into Grab Bag … perhaps to protect himself
from copyright laws?) Since there are skyscrapers and one would need more money,
the one dollar bills of a regular Monopoly set have "thousand" typed
on them. Also he made it $ 300 as you pass Go.
As a child, my brothers and I played with this as it was the only game we had
… Meanwhile I've built a padded carrying case for the board, bankers tray and
all the pieces."
Elmer turned out to create more deviations in the design of his Detroit game,
compared to in those days recently introduced Parker Brothers Monopoly. The most
striking is the fact that there are 12 spaces on each side instead of 10.
GO - Brush St. - Grab-Bag - Beaubien St. -
Brewster St. Settlements - Jos.
Campau Ave. - D.T. & I. R. R. - Chene St. - Chance -
Clay Ave. - Telephone
Co. - Casmer St. - IN JAIL/ JUST VISITING - Drexel Ave. - Light Co. -
- Field Ave. - Gray Ave. - Pere Marquette R.R. - Joy Road - Grab-Bag -
Ave. - Dexter Blvd. - Seward Ave. - QUIET/HOSPITAL ZONE - Seminole Ave. - Chance
- Iroquois Ave. - Van Dyke Ave. - Burns Ave. - Grand Trunk R.R. - Chicago Blvd.
- Grand River Ave. - Boston Blvd. - Water Works - LaSalle Gardens - FREE PARKING
Outer Drive - East Jefferson Ave. - Fisher Road - Grab-Bag - Merriweather
Road - Michigan Central R.R. - Woodward Ave. - Chance - Bloomfield Hills -
Checker Cab Co. and Palmer Woods.
A look on the gameboard tells us that:
There is no name of the game mentioned on the centre-field.
The Grab-Bag and Chance- fields are situated near the 2nd and 4th corner.
The 4 Railroad stations are situated on the seventh place of each
side and the space shows the rail instead of a locomotive. The
railroads are all Michigan State rail lines.
There is a real rascal in Jail.
There are 4 utilities! Electric Company is here Light Co.
and Water Works also here is situated 2 spaces ahead the 4th corner.
But there is a taxi company Checker Cab Co. operating on both the
other sides as well. On the concerning spaces Elmer painted a very detailed
T-Ford with spare tire on the back and a Michigan license plate # 123 - 36 (US
mark for 1936). On top of the car is the cab number 99 and through the back
window there are 2 people kissing eachother.
On the Free Parking space is now Quiet/Hospital
There is a Free Parking, however it is situated on the 4th corner. Note
that there is no referral to the Jail. The
only way one can get put in jail
is to be unfortunate enough to draw the Chance or Grab-Bag card that orders
There are 5 tokens, resp.: 3 Scottie dogs (on a yellow,
white and red base), an elephant and
a donkey. That are all animals made of ivory (!) mounted with a
small nail to a little piece of wood as a base.
There is a wood bankerstray (dim.: 55.2 x 22.9 cm) as well,
containing 7 places for the banknotes, 4 compartments for the buildings and
cards and a section divided by tin dividers into 12 smaller sections for each of
the various colors of property cards. The dice are also made of ivory,
yellowed by age, with black pips.
With this set is a copy of regular rules for the game, and beyond that the
instructions are on the property cards.
On an Antique Show in July 1999 in Des Moines - Iowa the market value of this
set was appraised as Folk Art US$ 1,500.00 to US$ 2,500.00 or more.
Maker: unknown - date ?
Dimensions of the board: 60.1 x 60.1 cm
Unfortunately there is little known about this set offered on ebay.
However it is obviously not too ancient a copy of the regular standard game with
streets of Atlantic City.
Seller described it as "A homemade Monopoly board that came out of a house
in New York. The squares are hand-painted, the Chance- and Community Chest cards
are hand-typed, the wooden houses and hotels are carved, while real Monopoly
money is used. The instructions are of the regular game as well."
The picture still shows that the gameboard is of untreated plywood with
protected corners. Here again nothing is written in the centrefield of the
gameboard. It looks like there are pictures of locomotives sticked on the
station fields. The property cards are strengthened with
black electrical tape.
This set was sold on ebay
December 1998 for US$ 125.-.