March 14, 2018

All Fun and Games

Board games were quite popular in earlier times, and much simpler than today’s electronic games obsessions.

It is interesting that in centuries prior to the 19th and 20th centuries, games were considered instruments of the devil.  The later periods were full of society changes which included the traumas of war, new immigrants coming to the country and an industrial revolution.  With all these transitions, board games were now viewed as a way to educate, entertain and even live out dreams, whether it be striking it rich or traveling the world. 

Games of chance or fortune telling were popular and during these years, few games were actually based on strategy or skill.  Conversation games evolved during the Victorian Era and provided a venue for people of the opposite sex to interact and develop relationships.

Several early board games that I purchased in a collection were made by Mc Loughlin Brothers who produced games from 1858 – 1920.  Many of their games focused on children’s education or moral lessons and all are known for their detailed and colorful artwork.

Some of the games for sale at Vintage Gal Antiques include:

The District Messenger Boy game- McLoughlin Bros.-- c1886.  The object of the game is to see which player will first become the President of the Telegraph Company.  Spaces reflecting misbehavior direct a player to go back, or sometimes go to prison which requires a return to “Start” upon release.

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The Game of Hide and Seek-McLoughlin Bros.-- c1895.  This is an extremely rare board game and quite large, measuring 15 1/2" x 22". The graphics are very intricate and colorful. 

A page from an early McLoughlin Brothers catalog describes the Hide and Seek Game as "simple and lively for small players."

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Ally Sloper – circa 1907.  Milton Bradley produced this target game and used the name “Ally Sloper” which was one of the earliest known comic characters, dating from 1867.  The clown image on the game doesn’t resemble the official comic character, but perhaps Bradley wanted to capitalize on a once funny name.

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There are many more early 19th and 20th century toys and games available for sale at Vintage Gal Antiques. Please stop by and check out the unique selection!