We scramble these letters to leave secret messages for one another. OK not so secret as the board is in the hall and we're the only 2 folks here. But, just go with me for this post.
these are Scrabble™ game letters that were recycled from an extra game set. And yes, we have another set that does get occasional use.
I created this message board fairly easy using the wooden game tiles, magnetic tape, a magnetic board, and a picture frame. The tape, board and frame were all bought at a retail crafts store and are shown here.
It was pure luck that the magnetic board and the frame were the same size, 12 x 12-inches. Even better luck was finding the frame on a clearance sale!
The magnetic tape comes on a roll and can be cut to any size. It has an adhesive backing. While a bit time-consuming, it was easy to adhere to each tile.
Curious about the game's background, I did some online searching. In 1938, a U.S. architect Alfred Mosher Butts created the game as a variation of Lexiko, an earlier word game he'd invented. Both games had the same set of letter tiles. The new game was named Criss-Cross Words. Butts added the 15x15 game board and the crossword-style game play. He manufactured a few sets himself, but no major game manufacturers were interested in marketing it.
In 1948, James Brunot, who owned one of the original Criss-Cross Words game, bought the manufacturing rights in exchange for granting Butts a royalty on every one sold. Bruno left most of the game unchanged, but rearranged the "premium" squares of the board, simplified the rules and changed its name to Scrabble, meaning "to scratch frantically."
In 1949, Brunot and his family made 2,400 sets and lost money. In 1952, Jack Straus, president of the Macy's, played it on vacation, returned home and found his store didn't carry it. He placed a large order and within a year, it was a "must-have." Brunot couldn't meet the demand and sold manufacturing rights to Selchow & Righter, which like Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley Company, had previously rejected the game. In its second year as a Selchow & Righter product, nearly four million sets were sold.
The game changed company ownership over the years. Selchow & Righter bought the trademark in 1972. In 1986, Selchow & Righter was sold to Coleco, which went bankrupt in 1989. Its primary assets were bought by Hasbro. Scrabble is now a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. in the U.S. and Canada.
Scrabble is sold in 121 countries and is available in 29 languages. Over 150 million sets have been sold worldwide; roughly a third of U.S. and half of British homes have a Scrabble game. There are around 4,000 Scrabble clubs around the world and it's also popular in an online version. In 2004, Scrabble was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame; one of 59 toys to have that distinction.
Do you have a Scrabble game and do you play it?