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Wartime Australian Monopoly Game
Materials and Manpower Shortages
Forced Game Modifications


World War II caused manpower shortages and materials rationing that required modifications in the way Monopoly games were made, much the same as the Great Britain games were modified. The following photos and descriptions will highlight the wartime game and it's modifications.

An interesting note, the Australian wartime game has the same PAT. APP. FOR No. 3796-36 on the box. By this time, the British versions had a patent number. It almost looks like the Australian version used the PAT APP FOR label well after the war, too. I don't know why the Aussie version didn't update with a patent number...

Be sure to check out the Long Box version HERE


~The Box~


The first noticeable modification was replacement of the glossy black paper covering the box lid with plain brown paper.

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~Hotels and Houses~

The houses and hotels are still made of wood. In this set, they are the same size, with both being the same length and height. Interestingly, the colors in this set were reversed, having 12 green hotels and 32 red houses, just the opposite of a normal set. Looks like they had to use up pieces as they were available..??



~Instructions and Other Game Paper~

The instructions are similar to the regular games except the paper is of a much lower quality. The smooth paper is gone and the surface is much less refined. Almost like old school tablet paper.

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Also, there was originally a small note glued to the inside of the box lid explaining the necessity of using comparitively inferior materials in the game production. I found a piece of this note in the box and photographed it. I figured a piece of the note was better than none.

When I photo'd the play pieces, I noticed someone had used extra paper to make the cardboard fit a bit more snugly in the slots of the wooden bases. Then, I noticed one of these extra papers had some familiar writing (look at the House play piece below). Turns out it was the torn off piece from the note! I can't imagine how many decades this little piece of paper has been stuffed in there like that. Cool!


~THE MONEY~

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The money seems to be printed on a lower quality paper, kind of a rough surface, not much better than the old school tablet paper.


~The Play Pieces~



The usual metal play pieces had to be replaced as the metal was a strategic material needed for the war effort. They followed the lead of the Brits and put lithograhs on cardboard that fit in slotted wooden bases. The Australian version had the pictures on little squares, not the shaped version as the British games had.


~The Spinner~

The dice were replaced with a cardboard spinner, similar to the British version, except the back piece is white with black text instead of black with white text.

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Spinner details


~Chance/Community Chest Cards~

The Chance cards are sort of pink while the Community Chest cards are pale green. Note that the Chance cards are a bit taller than the Community Chest cards. Must have been cut on different days...



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~TITLE DEEDS~

The title deeds are printed on something less than card stock, just a heavy paper. Also, the MAYFAIR, PARK LANE, OLD KENT, and WHITECHAPEL deeds have the banners printed seperately in color, including the top portion of the border. This was done on the earliest Australian Monopoly games when it was decided to print the banner using white text instead of the hard to see black text on these dark colors. Apparently, this method survived at least until the wartime game was produced.

In addition, the deeds seem rather haphazardly cut out, almost as if by hand with a paper cutter. Centering on some of the pieces is not very good and there are more than a couple corners cut out of square.