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Parker Brothers

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History

Parker Brothers is a  game and toy manufacturer and brand. The company has published more than 1,800 games since 1883 among their best known products are Monopoly, Cluedo (known as Clue in North America), Risk, Trivial Pursuit and Probe. Some editions of Scrabble too. Some editions are by Milton Bradly. Parker Brothers is currently a subsidiary of Hasbro.

Founding

Parker Brothers was founded by George S. Parker, who published his first game in 1883 at the age of 16. The company was originally called the George S. Parker Company and was founded in Salem, Massachusetts. When George's brother Charles joined the business in 1888, the company's name was changed to its more familiar form. In 1898 a third brother, Edward H. Parker, joined the company. For many years, George designed most of the games himself, and wrote all the rules. Many games were based on important events of the day: Klondike was based on the Alaskan gold rush, and War in Cuba was based on the impending Spanish-American War.

The game industry was growing, and the company was becoming very profitable. In 1906, Parker Brothers published the game Rook, their most successful card game to this day and it quickly became the best-selling game in the country. During the Great Depression, a time when many companies went out of business, Parker Brothers released a new board game called Monopoly. Although the company had originally rejected the game in 1934, they decided to publish it the next year. It was an instant success, and the company had difficulty for quite a while keeping up with demand. The company continued to grow throughout the next several decades, producing such lasting games as Clue, Risk, and Sorry!.

Even after George Parker's death, the company remained family-owned until 1968, when General Mills purchased the company. After this, Parker Brothers produced the first Nerf ball, and Nerf products soon became another major national hit. In the UK during the 70's, Parker Bros. was the games division of Palitoy (also a General Mills company), and produced a variety of releases such as Escape From Colditz. The company began to produce electronic versions of their popular board games in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They also produced video games for various systems during the early 1980's, with home ports of many popular arcade games like Sega's Frogger and Gottlieb's Q*Bert. During the 1980s, General Mills sold the company to Kenner, which was acquired by Tonka. In 1991, Parker Brothers was bought by Hasbro.

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