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1945_10_06--026_SP [Game Maker]

gibes --A qAME The late mystery writer S. S. Van Dine helped plan today's counterpart of Sherlock Holmes. .•- < • .., ../ First "board game" in U. S. Original version and (upper) Parker's. Children act as a hard-boiled but unbiased jury.. Below, Mrs. Channing Bacall, a game editor, checks the reaction of a group of Salem youngsters to Hendrik van Loon's Travel Game. Pillow-Dex was the forerunner of Ping-pong, which has been a money-maker since 1902. The Rough Riders, a very popular game in its time, has a modern version in Commandos. Banking, originated by Parker at 16, was commercialized at his friends' insistence. An instantaneous success, it started him in the business. Above, handwritten rules and printed set. In 1883, when he was sixteen, Parker was a schoolboy at Medford High, in Medford, Massachusetts. His father had been a Boston real-estate broker in his later years, and the young Parkers rattled happily around in a seventeen-room house. It was then the custom to call various chambers in a dwelling " the red room, the blue room, the green room," and so on through the spectrum, as long as the rooms held out. "The red room" in the Parker home was set aside as a place in which George and six of his young companions could play games. They played Authors, Ivanhoe, Dominoes and other old Salem games, but their favorite game was Banking, invented by young Parker himself. After a riotous hour or two of it, his friends occasionally said to him, as friends have said brightly to game inventors since time immemorial, " Why don't you have it published, George?" When his father died and the family finances proved shaky, George took his playmates' suggestion seriously. By various means, among them selling fruit from the family garden, he had accumulated $140. Parker took forty dollars of his savings, had 500 copies of Banking printed at a cost of eight cents each, and applied for a copyright. The copyright certificate was a sharp disappointment to him. He had expected a document encrusted with gold seals and embossed with screaming American eagles and Old Glory waving in the breeze, instead of the prosaic sheet of type it turned out to be. He was not too cast down, however, to ask his high-school principal for permission to be absent during the month of December, so he could make the rounds of prospective customers. The story of his enterprise sounds much like one of the tales written by Horatio Alger, although Parker grew up without patches in his trousers or wonderment as to where his next meal could come from. It could have easily been called Luck and Pluck. In Parker's case, though, the word " Pluck " would have been capitalized, and the word " luck " printed in lower case. "I went into Boston and talked Richard Schwarz, leading Boston toy seller and brother of F. A. 0. Schwarz, the internationally famous toy dealer, of New York, into taking Banking on," Parker remembers. "I showed them how to play it with what must have been irresistible enthusiasm, for they bought such mammoth quantities as (Continued on Page 48)


1945_10_06--026_SP [Game Maker]
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