According to Whitehill, this game was originally produced by the Wallie Dorr Company in 1906. It was bought by Parker Brothers which released their first version of the game in 1926. Parker Brothers continued to produce the game under the name of "Touring" until 1975. However, in 1960, they modified the "Touring" game based upon a game from France produced by Edmond Dujardin and began issuing it under the name "Mille Bornes". For awhile, both games appeared on the market at the same time.
Through the years, the pictures on the cards changed (as did the boxes) somewhat to reflect the changes in automobiles, driving patterns, road conditions, and the like. The collection copy of "Touring" (Patent Number 856587) was purchased at a Flea Market in Toronto, Ontario in 1981. The copy of "Mille Bornes" was donated to the Museum in the 1990s. The French words "Mille Bornes" in English can be translated as "Mileage Markers".
The "Touring" box is 10cm long x 13.8cm wide x 2.4 cm high. The cards are 8.9cm long x 5.7cm wide. The Museum copy of "Touring" includes 99 playing cards (one may be missing) and a set of instructions. Earlier sets included 100 cards, while later sets included 99 cards. The Museum "Touring" set includes:
Out of Gas
The intent of the game is to "tour" a number of miles via auto without a mishap! The number of miles varies with different versions. For example, in 1906 it was 50 miles, in 1926 it was 110 miles, in 1937 it was 240 miles, in 1958 it was 590 miles, etc. The first player to complete the mileage wins. The game can be played by two to six persons.
The backs of each card have a green and white background scene of a car driving through a mountain valley. There is also a compass pictured on the bottom right of the backs. These pictures vary with each edition. For example in 1926 there was an open touring car; in 1937 the auto was pulling a trailer.
Later sets included different "delay cards", such as: "broken spring", "missed curve", "burning oil", "brake adjustment", and the like. Even later some cards replaced "city limits" and "country" cards with "populated area" and "freeway" to reflect the changing social conditions while "touring"! Some of the card fronts are illustrated above.
Last update March 10, 2010