History of board games | Scrabble

Ever wonder where your favourite game came as a child? Or question if it had some hidden past? Over the coming weeks the VMS team will be revealing some of the hidden secrets of the most loved games of our childhood.

History of board games | Scrabble

Tripple word score!!!!

The History of Scrabble

Scrabble is, without doubt, the quintessential board game. Since its creation in the early 20th century, around 150 million sets have been purchased across 121 countries, establishing Scrabble as a true gaming phenomenon.

Invented in 1938 by Alfred Mosher, an unemployed architect, in Jackson Heights, New York, Scrabble was designed to appeal to 1920s audience, combining anagrams and crossword puzzles, which were popular diversions at that time. The novel charm of the game came from its system of scoring, where points could be earned by combining letters, whose values were indicated on each tile, into words. Mosher calculated the worth of each letter by noting how frequently it appeared on the front page of the New York Times. The game soon became highly sought-after, and nearly four million sets were sold in only its second year of existence.

From this early American success, Scrabble went on to become a similar sensation across the pond. Indeed, the progress of time has not halted its acclaim, and it is estimated that 53% of all homes in present-day Britain possess a version of the game. In 2006, Welsh became the most recent of the 29 languages into which Scrabble has been translated.

More than mere popularity, Scrabble has been incorporated into the language of British eccentricity; indeed, the country’s zeal for the game has provoked many wonderfully bizarre scenarios.

A recent news story tells how a resident of an elderly people’s home was politely asked to seek other accommodation, after she confessed that she didn’t play scrabble.Prince Charles

As Scrabble (in its current form) was invented in the same year that marked the birth of Charles, the Prince of Wales, in 2008 the game and the heir apparent shared their 60th birthdays. To commemorate the event, a portrait was created of the British prince, in the medium of scrabble tiles.

Other histories

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Check back soon as we will be adding more fun facts

about our favourite boardgames over the coming days and weeks.

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