A History of Scrabble

Do you know the history of Scrabble? You could argue that Scrabble is more than a board game-it's an institution. Chances are, the game has been around for your entire lifetime, and it's not going anywhere soon.

Scrabble was created by an American during the Great Depression. Alfred Mosher Butts was an out-of-work architect with some extra time on his hands, so he set out to invent a board game in 1931. He didn't come up with Scrabble instantly. He put a lot of research into what types of games already existed before he decided that his game would include vocabulary skills, chance and crossword puzzles. 

From there, he researched how often each letter is used in the English language to determine point values and the number of letters that should be in the game. He even made the decision to leave out a few S's to discourage plurals. Next, he channeled his architecture skills to draft the board.

He started selling it with the name Criss-Cross Words, but when the game didn't catch on he enlisted a partner, Jame Brunot, who renamed it Scrabble in 1948. It was a tough road for the game. In fact, it didn't catch on until Macy's took the game under its wing in the 1950's making it the "it" game. As demand grew the original creating duo licensed the game to Selchow and Righter Company who later purchased the trademark in 1972.

Since then Scrabble has maintained its popularity. Various versions of the game have been manufactured along with other merchandise. You can buy official Scrabble dictionaries, Scrabble t-shirts, video games and more. And recently, a Scrabble knockoff (much to Hasbro's dismay), Scrabulous created a craze on the online social network facebook. As technology changes, you can bet the classic game will continue its evolution. 

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