Monday, December 6, 2021

Board Games in the 1800's


By Kristy McCaffrey 

During the holidays, families gather and it’s the perfect time to play a board game. What games were popular in the 1800’s?

Chess, checkers, and backgammon have been around for hundreds of years, with backgammon dating back nearly 5000 years. The first known board game was invented by the Chinese in 200 BC.

Board games became popular in the U.S. at the beginning of the Civil War and encompassed educational themes such as quiz games about history, literature, and geography. Some were based on nursery rhymes and fairy tales, and often taught a moral along with a story. Many of the earliest games emphasized Christian morality, rewarding players who landed on designated squares with specific virtues, such as honesty and humility. In the 1880’s when the U.S. experienced a period of economic prosperity, the games began to emphasize the acquisition of material wealth.

Spiritualism became popular after the Civil War because so many had lost loved ones and they wanted to reconnect with them. This led to fortune-telling games, and in 1891 the Ouija Board was marketed to the American public, claiming that it could provide answers “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy.”

What’s your favorite board game?

Wishing you all a blessed holiday season. See you
in 2022! ~ Kristy


Julie Lence said...

I would have to say one of my favorite board games is Scrabble. Thank you for sharing, Kristy!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

I love Scrabble too, Julie. And Backgammon.