The American writer Howard R. Garis (1872-1961) created the character "Uncle Wiggily Longears" for a children's book in 1910. According to Whitehill, the game based upon the children's story was first introduced by the Milton Bradley Company in 1916. The photo at the left is a copy of the game purchased by the Museum in 1981. Bradley modified the game in 1923, 1949, and 1955. This copy has the Serial Number 4817, and is thought to be produced before the 1923 modification.
The container (13.5cm long x 16.75cm wide x 4cm deep) on the right of the photo illustrates a rabbit going to his house. Playing instructions are printed on the inside of the container top. This smaller box holds the game playing pieces and cards. The 4 playing pieces are 3.5cm diameter and are made of painted wood (lower right of photo). The cards have player movement instructions printed on one side. The backs are plain. There are 105 yellow cards and 34 red cards. The game is for 2 to 4 players.
The gameboard is 41cm long x 42cm wide and made of cardboard and printed paper. When folded in half, the underside is black with the name of the game imprinted on it. The playing surface of the board clearly illustrates the game is of the "racing" variety in the style of the European "Goose Game", that is the first player to reach the end of the "track" wins. There are 151 numbers on the track with illustrations of Wiggily's house, a dog house, a general store, a hen house, etc.
Whitehill states that Parker Brothers obtained the rights to Uncle Wiggily in 1967. However, in 1989 both Milton Bradley Co. and Parker Brothers reintroduced different version of the same game. Hasbro now owns both the Parker and Bradley rights, but apparently is producing the Bradley version for the current market.
The photo above is the Parker Brothers copy issued in 1967 (Serial Number 160), and donated to the Museum in 1981. The container (24cm wide x 46cm long x 4cm high) is pictured on both sides of the gameboard. The four playing pieces (2cm diameter) are at the bottom of the board.
There are 66 cards (4.5cm wide by 7.5cm long), 38 white and 28 red - both with black printing. Each card features a rhyme related to player moves on the track. The gameboard is 45cm square, and folds in half. The folded board is covered in a red textured paper. The track has 151 numbers. The drawings on the board are "updated" versions of the characters on the original board.
Last update March 5, 2010