Monopoly

Pictured: the Angel, Islington (corner of Islington High Street and Pentonville Road). The current structure was completed in 1903 and was known as the Angel Hotel.

From Wikipedia: “Monopoly is a board game currently published by Hasbro. In the game, players roll two six-sided dice to move around the game board, buying and trading properties, and developing them with houses and hotels. Players collect rent from their opponents, with the goal being to drive them into bankruptcy.

Monopoly is derived from The Landlord’s Game created by Lizzie Magie in the United States in 1903 as a way to demonstrate that an economy which rewards wealth creation is better than one where monopolists work under few constraints, and to promote the economic theories of Henry George—in particular his ideas about taxation. It was first published by Parker Brothers in 1935. The game is named after the economic concept of monopoly—the domination of a market by a single entity.

In the 1930s, John Waddington Ltd. (Waddingtons) was a printing company in Leeds that had begun to branch out into packaging and the production of playing cards.Waddingtons had sent the card game Lexicon to Parker Brothers hoping to interest them in publishing the game in the United States. In a similar fashion, Parker Brothers sent over a copy of Monopoly to Waddingtons early in 1935 before the game had been put into production in the United States.

Victor Watson, the managing director of Waddingtons, gave the game to his son Norman, head of the card games division, to test over the weekend. Norman was impressed by the game and persuaded his father to call Parker Brothers on Monday morning – transatlantic calls then being almost unheard of. This call resulted in Waddingtons obtaining a licence to produce and market the game outside the United States.

Watson felt that for the game to be a success in the United Kingdom, the American locations would have to be replaced, so Victor and his secretary, Marjory Phillips, went to London to scout out locations. The Angel, Islington, is not a street in London but a building (and the name of the road intersection where it is located). It had been a coaching inn that stood on the Great North Road. By the 1930s, the inn had become a J. Lyons and Co. tea room (today The Co-operative Bank). Some accounts say that Marjory and Victor met at the Angel to discuss the selection and celebrated the fact by including it on the Monopoly board.”

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