On this day in 1935, the very last day of the year, the Parker Brothers was granted a patent for the game of Monopoly.

Houses & hotels established on the right addressed. And the odd chance to spend some time in jail! (© All Rights Reserved)
Houses & hotels established at the right addresses. And the odd chance to spend some time in jail!
(© All Rights Reserved)

The patent described Monopoly as “intended primarily to provide a game of barter, thus involving trading and bargaining”, further stating “much of the interest in the game lies in trading and in striking shrewd bargains.”

The game of Monopoly deals with real estate – players can buy properties on different streets with different values, where they can charge rent etc. An element of chance (the roll of two dice) is incorporated to add excitement and unpredictability.

The original patent for Monopoly was quite comprehensive, including illustrations showing not only the playing board and pieces, but also 22 “Title cards of the respective Real Estate holdings”, Utilities, Chance and Community Chest cards, and the scrip money.

The Parker Brothers’ Monopoly became one of the all-time best selling board games, entertaining generations of adults and children. Intricate and complex enough to stimulate adult players, yet simple enough to still entertain (slightly older) children, it proved a winning recipe, and a true classic of the board game genre.

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