32¢ The Game of Monopoly
Celebrate the Century – 1930s
Issue Date: September 10, 1998
City: Cleveland, OH
Printed By: Ashton–Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
For many people the Great Depression meant a time of lost jobs, lost fortunes, and lost dreams. However, one thing the Depression could not take away was people’s memories.
One evening in 1930, Charles Darrow was sitting at his kitchen table reminiscing with friends when he remembered the glory days spent on vacation in Atlantic City. Suddenly, an idea arose in his mind. He began jotting down the names of streets that he remembered from his vacations. He then added four railroads and two utility companies. Soon, he had a giant game board made out of a tablecloth. Later, he added houses, hotels, and game tokens. When he was finished he had the makings of a new board game, but more importantly, a much-needed diversion for the millions of people who were jobless. Finally, these people could take their minds off from their financial problems and remember what it was like to have money – even if only for a short time.
Soon, Monopoly became so popular Darrow could not keep up production, and he offered it to Parker Brothers. After first rejecting the game on the grounds that it was too complicated, they reconsidered. Monopoly remains one of today’s most popular board games.