The Strong, which operates the National Museum of Play, announced this week the acquisition of Philip Orbanes’ collection of Monopoly games and other Parker Brothers material. Orbanes is a former Parker Brothers executive and recognized Monopoly expert. The collection includes every authentic mass-produced version of Monopoly, a 1920s handmade copy of The Landlord’s Game (precursor to Monopoly), other significant Parker Brothers games (such as a 1949 American Clue), game and toy prototypes from Orbanes’ career, and material from George Parker.
A number of items from the Orbanes collection will be placed on display in Game Time!, an exhibit opening next month at the museum in Rochester, New York. Game Time!, like the National Museum of Play’s other exhibits, will include displays of historical artifacts alongside interactive activities for all ages. Displays will trace the history of games in America with such items as an 1843 copy of The Mansion of Happiness, a 1943 Party Capers for Everyone, and The Dalluhn Manuscript from 1973 (believed to be the earliest version of Dungeons & Dragons). Visitors to the exhibit will also be able to get hands-on with giant-sized versions of Connect Four, Battleship, and Perplexus.