The photograph on the left is of a wooden gameboard, featuring a number of different games on this surface. On the reverse of the board are a number of entirely different games.
The notion of Multi-games on a single board has a number of origins. One such is the fact that during the late 18th and early 19th century, game makers produced and distributed expensive "Game Cabinets" - small chests with a number of drawers - each drawer containing equipment for a game. Sometime during the period less expensive "Game Boxes" were introduced. These were special boxes which included the equipment for playing a number of games, and some of the equipment in a box could be used for playing more than one game. During the 20th century, some makers produced "Multi-game Tables", a square table with interchangeable gameboards which fit into the tabletop. These separate boards and the game pieces were usually provided for in a drawer or hollow enclosed space under the tabletop.
By the 1980s one could purchase a single box of games - all compressed into "matchboxes" - (illustrated on the right) in this set in the collection. Click on the photograph to find out about this set and the games in it.
Commercial versions such as the one in the photograph at the top of this page are a table top game. Some offer a half dozen or more games. If the board has corner pockets, one of the games would be Caroms. If one side of the board has a circular pattern and deflector pins, one of the games would be Crokinole.
Click on one of the photographs below to be taken to a Webpage about a specific board in the collection and to see both sides of a board.
Last update March 27, 2010