Copies of the game of Pit (which look like the photo on the left) carry a Parker Brothers, Inc. (US) copyright date of 1919, but according to Whitehill, Parker Brothers first introduced the game in 1903. Since the 1919 copyright date continued to appear on subsequent productions of the game, it is difficult to tell if this copy is an original edition or not! The Museum purchased this copy in 1979. Hasbro (which now owns Parker Brothers) continues to produce the game.
The "pit" in question is of course "the commodities exchange". In keeping with the exchange theme, there are 63 cards representing seven different commodities available on the exchange. Each commodity is pictured on 9 cards - wheat, barley, corn, rye, oats, hay, flax. The commodity cards show a picture of the "exchange" in action, a point value for the card, and the name of the commodity. Also like the commodities exchange, there are two cards representing buyers. One card is the "bull" - the aggressive buyer (top right). The second card is the "bear" - the conservative buyer (not pictured).
The cards are 8.9cm long x 6.2cm wide. Card backs are similar to playing card backs, in that they have a blue and white geometric design. A card back is pictured at the top of the photograph. The box lid (top of photograph) is 9.9cm long x 13.8cm wide x 2.3cm high. The box bottom is plain. In addition to the name of the game and manufacturing information, the top indicates that this game is "Exciting Fun for Everyone"!
In 1982, a donor presented the Museum with a British Edition of the game (photo on the right), manufactured by John Waddington Ltd., London, England.
The box lid (9.9cm long x 13.1cm wide x 1.9cm high) is dimensioned some what like the Parker Brothers edition, but has a different look to it. This lid also states that PIT is "The World's Liveliest Party Game"! The box bottom is plain.
The backs of the cards (8.9cm long x 5.7cm wide) are also quite different, featuring a crest-like picture bearing a corn cob, farm animals, bale of grain, and a grain bin. The card back is pictured on the the photograph. However, the face of the playing cards are the same as in the US deck. There are the same commodity suits and the "bull" and "bear" cards. The game is for three to six players.
Last update March 6, 2010