Acquired by the Museum in 1981, this map board game was first copyrighted in 1888 by George S. Parker who had been designing and marketing games since 1883. In 1888, his brother Charles joined George and the firm became Parker Brothers of Salem, Massachusetts. Since we have little information about the design of this game, we might assume that it was designed by George. This notion is borne out by Lee Dennis in her book Antique American Games: 1840-1940. The photo at the left is a retouched grey scale photo of the game box in Dennis' book.
In 1869 a book titled Innocence Abroad was published and widely circulated. It's author was Mark Twain (pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens 1835-1910). Clemens was an American writer and lecturer known for his humor, mocking social satire, realism of place and language, memorable characters, and hatred of hypocrisy and oppression. As a newspaper correspondent, he traveled to Hawaii (then known as the Sandwich Islands), and later to Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Mideast. His 1867 foreign travels became the basis of his book Innocents Abroad. The book exaggerated those aspects of European culture that impressed American tourists and he subtitled the book The New Pilgrim's Progress.
The game board (47.5cm square) is printed paper over cardboard. As can be seen in the photographto the left, the board folds in half, and the back has a mottled blue patterned paper with a gold sticker that contains the name of the game and the manufacturer. The upper left side of the front of the board features the name of the game. While this original copy of the game board from 1888 did not include a container or minor pieces, a reproduction acquired by the Museum in 1986 did have a number of minor pieces such as game counters for marking player progress on the board and a supply of paper bills. In keeping with the time-period of the game, the dominations of these "bills" were 25 and 50 cents, $2.50, $5, and $10.
The board is a stylized map illustrating activities which an American Tourist might engage in as they travel around Europe. The game is for 2 to 4 players. Players start on the track on the right at the bottom of the board and using a "spinner" make their way around the country side. The red dots indicate "depots" from which a player can bypass part of the landscape by taking a steamboat or some other transport. Midway on the track (at the center of the board) is the "Railroad Dining Room" in which a player can enter and spend some of their money as can be seen from the enlargement.
This enlargement of the upper section of the board indicates municipal areas that a player can tour, do a variety of things, and also spend some more money!
Note how progress on the track might be impeded with landing on "Lost Pocketbook $10 - go Back To Police Station" or "Go back and make a call on a Friend". (There are many items on the board and this enlargement is only a partial section of the items contained on the board.)
Last update March 23, 2010