In 1903, Elizabet "Lizzie" Magie patented the game that eventually was eventually adapted for mass sales by a man named Charles Darrow. Magie's game, patented under the name "The Landlord's Game" was designed to illustrate economic principles based on what Magie regarded as the iniquitie of landlordship and the economic advisability of a single tax, based on land values. (source: Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money 2008, p. 230) Below, are some versions of the game board patented by Magie (Philips was her married name). The first is from 1904, the second is from 1924. Monopoloy as we know it was not produced and sold until 1934. (Ferguson, 2008, p. 231)
Magie-Phillips' version of the game was meant to be more instructional than recreational. Some university professors even adopted a modified version for classroom use. (Ferguson, p. 231).
Meanwhile, Magie-Philips already had a relationship with Parker Brothers, the game company, which had issued another game she invented called Mock Trial. Although George Parker declined to buy The Landlord's game from Magie-Philips in the 1920s, he did encourage her to seek patent protection for her invention. (source)
When Parker Brothers decided to buy the patents for Monopoly from Clarence Darrow, the company also bought out Magie-Philips' patents recognizing that Darrow had been seen a version of The Landlord's Game (Ferguson, p. 231), which had gained a cult following in the northeastern United States. (source)
"Parker Brothers gave joint credit, in company publicity, to both Darrow and Magie-Phillips until the patents expired in 1953." (source)
Crossposted at Heidi Li on Equality at 51 Percent.