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In 1935, Parker Brothers bought the rights to Monopoly from the 'inventor', Charles Darrow. Parker Brothers produced 24,000-25,000 games marked Trade Mark from June - August 1935, with the first batch of 10,000 game boards exhibiting the blue Parker Brothers overprint in the GO square. As many as 25% of those games could still exist today, with most exhibiting heavy wear.

The photos below show the:
Game Board (with the Parker Brothers logo printed in blue on the GO square!)
Utensil Box
Title Deeds
Chance and Community Chest Cards
a full set of Money (Gold $100, Salmon $500!)
Play Pieces
Trade Mark Instruction Sheets
and an Ad Insert
describing Monopoly as a completely new game concept!

~~The Box~~


~~Instruction Sheets~~

Trade Mark games were made with 3 different instructions sheets. Shown here are 2 of the 3 varieties, #2 and #3. #1 is very rare, #2 is also pretty rare, and #3 is the most common TM rule sheet, though it is also rare.

Rule Sheet #2

Measures about 8 3/16" wide by 9 1/16" tall

Rule Sheet #3

~~Chance and Community Chest Cards~~

The CHANCE and COMMUNITY CHEST cards in this game use the same wording as the Darrow cards. It wasn't take long before Parker Brothers made a few changes in the wording, so instead of Advance to someplace, the Darrow style cards say Call at Illinois or Visit St Charles. Also, Parker Brothers added text instructing players to collect $200 if they pass go, which these cards lack. In addition, both CHANCE and COMMUNITY CHEST cards say GO TO JAIL in this game. Parker Brothers later added DO NOT PASS GO / DO NOT COLLECT $200.

Pretty much, the rest of the cards remained the same for the later Parker Brothers printings.

~~The Money~~

Parker Brothers money copied from Darrow's using the pink $500 and gold $100 bills. Parker Brothers quickly redesigned the money, switching the colors of the $500 and $100 bills, making the $500 bills gold and the $100 bills pink, thinking gold should be reserved for the highest denomination.

~~Ad Insert Sheet~~

Parker Brothers described Monopoly as "An entirely new game - New principles of play". The ad wording is interesting, as it reminds us how different the game was from other games then on the market. The idea that it involved new concepts of play foreshadows the application for a patent. (thanks, David, for that insight)

~~Play Pieces~~

The green houses and red hotels were all made of wood. These Darrow style hotels are longer than the houses but are they are same height. When Parker Brothers redesigned them, they decided to make the hotels taller than the houses.

Dice were made out of Bakelite and were white when they were made, but turn yellow/brown with age.

Darrow games did not include player pieces with the game but Parker Brothers figured that was a pretty important oversight so they bought metal tokens from the same folks who supplied metal tokens for Cracker Jack prizes. This game has 6 different player tokens, and each of these can also be found as period Cracker Jack prizes. As demand for the game increased, availability of metal player pieces dried up, so Parker Brothers used wooden pieces in some of these games.

~~Title Deeds~~

The title deeds for this game were also copied from the Darrow cards. They have blank backs and the color banners simply state the property name. When Parker Brothers redesigned the title deeds, they added the words 'Title Deed' to the banner. Other improvements were made over the next couple years, including changing the black text on dark colored banners to white, making them easier to read, and then placing the mortgage information on the back. Also, Darrow title deeds show the prices with .00 cents, while Parker Brothers dropped the 2 zero's on all the prices.

~~The Board~~

The Parker Brothers Trade Mark board was a copy of the Darrow board. The very first batch of boards that Parker Brothers produced (about 10,000 boards) had a Parker Brothers logo printed in the GO square. These are very hard to find. The property prices were not printed on the property squares. The Income Tax square stated PAY 10% OR $300 instead of the later $200. Some of the later Trade Mark boards were printed Trade Mark on the inside while the label outside stated Patent Pending. This board is one of the very rare earlier ones and is in pretty good condition.


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