Part 1 – Monopoly
As Virginia Woolf famously said, “I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”
Throughout history, women have often been sidelined, either due to peer pressure, lack of opportunity, or flat-out sexism. And many times, women who invented items – from disposable nappies to Monopoly – weren’t given credit for their work.
Women are responsible for early sketches of the computer, the discovery of the DNA double helix, and even splitting the atom. But men claimed those advancements as their own.
1. Monopoly was invented by Elizabeth Magie Phillips as, ironically, a protest against the monopoly of men.
America’s favourite board game was created by Elizabeth Magie Phillips. She called it “The Landlord’s Game,” and it aimed to both demonstrate the benefits of Henry George’s system of land-grabbing economics and protest monopolists of the time, like John D. Rockerfeller.
Phillips filed for a patent in 1903, and the game began to circulate among niche communities – but right as it was catching on, Charles Durow stepped in and secured a copyright for his own “enhanced” version, called Monopoly, which featured a few variations that made it easier to play.
Durow then sold his game to Parker Brothers, and Phillips was largely lost to history.
Read more next week….