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How a woman invented Monopoly and the world forgot

When Ms. Monopoly hit the stores, there were mixed reactions.

On one hand, the popular toy company Hasbro reached out a generous hand to three young inventors to fuel their creative minds and their genius ideas.

Yet, with the other hand, the company did not take the time to recognize the original creator of the game.

To understand this - let’s go back in time a little.

A Look Back In Time


Monopoly Patent


On January 5th, 1904 Elizabeth Magie (affectionately known as Lizzie) was granted U.S. Patent 748,626 for her invention The Landlord’s Game.

It was widely popular around colleges and family rooms alike with a few creative people creating their own iterations of the game in different regions.

As time passed and the world went through major shifts, it also brought on some shiftiness with it too.

Charles Darrow claimed to create the game Monopoly and in selling his game to Parker Brothers (who later got absorbed into Hasbro), Charles became the first game designer millionaire.

You might be thinking how unfair this is, and all we can say is strap in friends. Our dear Lizzie didn’t go down without a fight, but despite her criticisms of the likeness of the games, her remarks went unnoticed for many years.

Inventor’s Impact



Like many inventors across history, her impact on American culture and society was only made known after her time on this earth (and also thanks to a more recent lawsuit).

As the popular game snowballed into 300 different versions you can buy (anything from Unicorns vs. Llamas to Ice Cream-opoly, and yes those are real games) it became a common staple for game nights across the United States and internationally.

Lizzie was ahead of her time in creating a game designed for social interaction and public education. While the history books forgot to mention her name cause of cough cough boys in suits we are speaking her name and many others across this new series Women Inventors Who Changed Our Future.

If you are curious to learn more about women inventors, head on over to Women Inventors Book to learn more about our mission to bring Women Inventor’s stories back into the books.

We are on a mission


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