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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Scrambled Message Letters

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. 
Yes, 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 inventedBoth 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 1972In 1986, Selchow & Righter was sold to Coleco, which went bankrupt in 1989. Its primary assets were bought by HasbroScrabble 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? 

11 comments:

diane b said...

What an interesting history. I hope the first guy got plenty of reward. We have a game in the cupboard but we don't play anymore. We play digital word games on the iPad now.

Anvilcloud said...

That's a very cool idea with a bit of interesting history thrown in for good measure. You may have people scrabbling around to find old Scrabble games.

Sandra said...

I don't know when we got our first Scrabble game, but I know we had it in 1959 and I think it was before that. it was the only game I liked. this is a super idea and you could even use them on the fridge to leave messages

gigihawaii said...

David and I used to play Scrabble frequently. We still have a set.

Lynn said...

I do have one, but don't play it. When sisters are visiting, we tend to play Rummikub. They like that one more than I do. I DO play Words with Friends online - much like Scrabble - I play with one sister and a couple of friends.

Love your message there - so beautiful and loving.

Connie said...

I like to play, but we rarely do. We played it more when our sons were still at home. Great idea for a message board--very clever!

Emma Springfield said...

It was fun to read the history of this game I have played all my life. I had no idea it had gone through so many "owners". Scrabble is one of my favorite games.

William Kendall said...

You know, I've never played the game.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

It's a fun game. I started playing when I was a kid and visited my grandmother. We still have a game here but haven't played in awhile. Your message board is great idea!

NCmountainwoman said...

I try never to play Scrabble. Intellectually I know that small words on large scoring areas are key to winning. But I can't help myself. I want to make better words. And they may not give me as many points. I do love those magnetic words though.

L. D. said...

I have never owned a scrabble board.

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