THE OLDEST KNOWN FORMAL MONOPOLY GAME - 97 Years Old
THE 1920 PHILADELPHIA FOLK MONOPOLY GAME is an original 97 year old MONOPOLY game that was created in the fall of 1920. It reflects the 1920 Philadelphia, PA area, especially the Main Line western suburbs around Haverford College. The game set was created by two sons of an old Main Line Quaker family who were members of the Haverford College classes of 1922 & 1924. The game was played at Haverford College and their nearby family home.
Approximately 25 years after graduating from Haverford College, the brothers closed the old family home after the death of their mother. In the process, The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game set was misplaced and the brothers lost possession of their game.
Approximately 25 years after losing possession of their game, one of the brothers responded to a 1973 newspaper article regarding a fictional Charles Darrow monopoly creation story. He wrote a letter-to-the-editor about a home made monopoly game he and his brother created in the fall of 1920. He wrote about their game's history and attributes that clearly reflect The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game.
Separate documentation identifies additional game attributes linking the brothers to the game set. In addition, the game set itself exhibits distinct attributes referencing its' creators and their extended family which provides capstone evidence of the direct relationship between The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game and its' creators - the two Main Line Quaker brothers from Haverford, Pennsylvania.
One unique characteristic of The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game board is that it prominently exhibits the word "MONOPOLY" and did so approximately 13 years prior to Charles Darrow's & 15 years prior to Parker Brother's introduction and association with monopoly. Therefore, The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game is the only known folk monopoly game whose game board displays the word "MONOPOLY". And, some of the property deeds also exhibit the word "MONOPOLY" printed on them.
Consequently, The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game is tangible evidence of a MONOPOLY real estate trading game in the public domain in 1920. It reinforces the circumstantial evidence of numerous folk monopoly players who testified they played a real estate game called "monopoly" sometime during the era between 1909 and 1933. This 24 year period represents folk monopoly game play in the north-eastern, eastern, south-eastern and mid-western regions of the United States well before 1935 when a patent was issued to Charles Darrow and a trade mark was issued to Parker Brothers.
Fast forwarding 65 years to the summer of 2014, The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game resurfaced in an unrelated Philadelphia family estate sale. Based upon information provided at the time, the game was acquired by the estate heir's grandfather. As a result, The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game is no longer lost and hidden away.
As a 97 year old MONOPOLY game, it is set to become an antique MONOPOLY game in 3 years when it turns 100 years old in 2020.
The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game is the oldest known formal MONOPOLY game as evidenced by its age and the word MONOPOLY prominently displayed in the center of the game board.
The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game board of this 97 year old MONOPOLY game provides a tour of Philadelphia locales, especially around Haverford College, during a time when playing a folk monopoly game was a popular pastime at north eastern, eastern and south eastern seaboard colleges, including Wharton, Haverford & Swarthmore. By this time, folk monopoly game play also extended into the mid west to Michigan and Indiana. The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game board is a well engineered, hand-crafted, and finely finished wood game board that is part of a 97 year old monopoly game set.
The 1920 Philadelphia Folk MONOPOLY Game utensils box contains:
- Leather Dice Cup w/ Cellulose Dice
- Manual Typewritten Deeds on Card Stock
- Large & Small recycled Haverford College Card Stock Paper Money
- Hand carved Mahogany Wood Houses
- Hand carved Mahogany Men/ Movers/ Tokens/ Pieces
A separate caddy held smaller denomination poker chip money.