4 Facts About the History of Scrabble You Probably Didn’t Know

Scrabble is one of the best-selling board games in the world and is regularly played by tens of millions of people. You probably have a few Scrabble showdowns under your belt, but did you ever stop to wonder about the game’s history? If not, here is an opportunity to check some facts about the history of Scrabble you probably didn’t know before.

Scrabble Was Invented By an Out-of-Work Architect

Architect Alfred Mosher Butts invented Scrabble in 1938 while between jobs. He was set on to create a word game that used a scoring system and assigned points to letters based on frequency analysis from various sources including The New York Times.

Scrabble Has Two Early Versions

The earliest version of Scrabble was named Lexiko and was played without a board. The next version was called Criss-Crosswords and featured a 15×15 gameboard. In 1948, it was renamed Scrabble after Butts’ friend James Brunot acquired licensing rights for the game and started producing it.

Scrabble Soared in Popularity Thanks to Macy’s

Brunot and their family were making Scrabble sets themselves and selling them, but the game didn’t take off as they envisioned, and they lost money. A big break came in 1952 when the game was discovered by Jack Straus, President of the department store chain Macy’s. Straus played the game during vacation and decided to place a big order for Macy’s, after which the popularity of Scrabble soared.

Scrabble Remains Unchanged in Its Core

While the rules of Scrabble have changed over the years, the game itself remained the same in its core. It still features 100 tiles and is played on a 15×15 gameboard.

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