12:22 AM

Welcome back to my blog....Today, I was looking online for a copy of the 1960s version of The Game of Life and stumbled on the history of this game. I played this as child and never realized how much this game changed along with culture. The 1992 current version gives points for recycling. The game was first known as Checkered Game of Life and the section above gives points for happiness and wealthy....and for a crime you go to prison which is almost at the beginning of the game.

My friend Lauren Sodano, Social Media Coordinator (and Collections Manager at The Strong, Rochester, New York) directed me to their Web Page for the 

 Strong National Museum of Play 

If you are able to get to this museum, do...it is a great place for adults and kids. (I surfed this site checking out what games, dolls & Toys were available during the 1850s & a must do for fun) This site gives me more information:

The Checkered Game of Lifegame board1866Have you ever played The Game of Life? The Milton Bradley Company developed the game in 1960 to celebrate its hundred-year history, which began in 1860 with The Checkered Game of Life. But don't expect to collect that dream job, car, spouse, and kids when playing this 19th-century game with a similar name. The Checkered Game of Life is not about money - it's about virtue and morality. One of the earliest board games in the country, it offered Americans a welcome alternative to card games. Combining chance and skill to negotiate life's many challenges, players traversed a checkered board of colored squares representing the virtues of honor, truth, and temperance, or the vices of idleness, crime, and drink. Naturally, players could not use dice, because they were associated with gambling; instead, they used a teetotum - a top with numbered sides. The game was tremendously popular, selling out its first run of 45,000 copies in less than a year. Reviewers praised the game for offering families an entertaining way of instructing children in the advantages of moral behavior. Bradley skillfully promoted his product, including it in his collection of "Games for Soldiers" - nine games on lightweight pasteboard marketed to Union soldiers during the Civil War.
ManufacturerMilton Bradley Co.
Materialcardboard | paper | wood | rubber | wire | glass
OriginSpringfield, MA
Object ID104.803

It begins in infancy and follows thru school and yes...even to college.....don't you love these words ...disgrace, influence, ambition, poverty honesty and industry.

I found this jpg in Wikipedia which says Milton Brady was a printer in his working life.

Milton Bradley (November 8, 1836 – May 30, 1911), an American game pioneer, was credited by many with launching the board game industry in North America withMilton Bradley Company.
A native of Vienna, Maine, in his late teens Bradley chose to pursue the printing trade, including lithography. In 1860, he set up the first color lithography shop in Springfield, Massachusetts. Eventually, Bradley moved forward with an idea he had for a board game which he called The Checkered Game of Life, an early version of what would later become The Game of Life.

The version I played as a child had the Poor House and in the 1860 version, influenced by the depression during 1857, they have Ruin and Suicide (and this is a children's game).

And the last section shows the upper right hand corner is labeled Happy Old Age 50.... I never realized I would be considered a senior citizen back in the 1850s.....Here again there are words that remind me of the Franklin Maxim plates I have....bravery, ruin, cupid, speculation, idleness and success.

Google books posted a book A Board Game Education see page 85

Here's the entire board. If you have never played it, you start on the infancy block and roll the dice and count the squares on the bottom row to the right. Once at the end of this row, you go up one row to Ruin and count in the opposite direction across to the end and up to Congress....eventually you work your way to Happy Old age at 50....

Although this is an old game I think these values are pit falls are valid today. Anybody else agree with me?