DECEMBER 12

DECEMBER 12

ON THIS DATE in 1866, game-maker George S. Parker was born. At sixteen in 1883, he made and sold his first game, Banking. With the $80 profit he made from that venture, Parker founded a business in Medford, Massachusetts, that he initially called Geo. S. Parker & Company. He later added two brothers, Charles and Edward, to a firm that sold many popular games, including Tiddledy Winks, Parcheesi, Mah Jongg, and more.

The company had hit a serious Depression-era skid when George, initially critical of the game, purchased the patent to Monopoly, which had been created by an out-of-work heater salesman named Charles Darrow. He put all of the Parker Brothers resources into the game and was rewarded when consumers bought 1.8 million copies of Monopoly in 1936, resulting in a company profit of $1 million.

More recent Parker Brothers games include Sorry! Risk, and Trivial Pursuit. George Parker died in 1952, 11 years before Parker Brothers was sold to General Mills. It has been a subsidiary of Hasbro since 1991.

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