The earliest known version of Monopoly, known as The Landlord’s Game, was designed by an American, Elizabeth Magie, and first patented in 1904. A series of board games were developed from 1906 through the 1930s that involved the buying and selling of land and the development of that land. In Indianapolis Ruth Hoskins learned the landlord’s game, and took it back to Atlantic City. She made a new board with Atlantic City street names, and taught it to a group of local Quakers. One of the Quakers took the game to Philadelphia where Charles Darrow learned the game. After learning the game, Darrow then began to distribute the game himself as Monopoly. Darrow initially made the sets of the Monopoly game by hand when drew the designs with a drafting pen on round pieces of oil cloth, and then his son and his wife helped fill in the spaces with colors and make the title deed cards and the Chance cards and Community Chest cards. After the demand increased, Darrow contacted a printing company.
Darrow’s game board designs included the famous black locomotives on the railroad spaces, the car on “Free Parking”, the red arrow for “Go”, the faucet on “Water Works”, the light bulb on “Electric Company”, and the question marks on the “Chance” spaces. Darrow received a copyright on his game in 1933. He brought the game to Parker Brothers at the height of the Great Depression. The game was rejected in 1934 citing it to be too complex. However Darrow returned to Parker Brothers in 1935, when he could no longer keep up with the growing demand for his game and this time they accepted Monopoly.
More than 275 million games have been sold worldwide and it’s available in 111 countries, in 43 languages. Since 1935, more than one billion people have played the game. The longest MONOPOLY game in history lasted for 70 straight days. The most expensive version of the game was produced by celebrated San Francisco jeweler Sidney Mobell. Valued at $2 million, the set features a 23-carat gold board and diamond-studded dice. Digital version of MONOPOLY has launches on seven platforms in 27 countries, and is localized into 20 languages with nearly 10 million worldwide mobile phone game downloads.
When his daughters were little,Walt Disney would take them to play at the carousel at Griffith Park in Los Angeles every Sunday. While his daughters enjoyed their repeated rides, Disney sat on park benches with the other parents who had nothing to do but watch. It was on these Sunday excursions that Walt Disney began to dream of an activity park that had things for both children and parents to do. Disney hired the Stanford Research Institute to find an appropriate location that consisted of at least 100-acres, was located near Los Angeles, and could be reached by a freeway. The company found for Disney a 160-acre orange orchard in Anaheim, California.
While Walt Disney put up much of his own money to make his dream a reality, he didn’t have enough personal money to complete the project. Many of the financiers could not envision the monetary rewards of a place of dreams. To gain financial support for his project, Disney turned to the new medium of television. Disney made a plan with ABC: ABC would help finance the park if Disney would produce a television show on their channel. The program Walt created was called “Disneyland” and showed previews of the different themed areas in the new, upcoming park.
On July 21, 1954, construction on the park began and completed in a year. On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened for a few thousand specially invited visitors; the following day, Disneyland officially opened to the public with an entrance fee of $1. What was true when Walt Disney stated it during the opening ceremonies in 1955 still stands true today: “To all who come to this happy place – welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you.”
Disneyland has a larger cumulative attendance than any other theme park in the world, with over 650 million guests since it opened.