Did you know that Alfred Mosher Butts was born today in 1899? He studied and worked as an architect, but is best known for inventing the board game Scrabble. To figure out how many of each letter tile to include, he analyzed the words on the front page of the New York Times and recorded how frequently each letter appeared. Initially, the Alfred Butts named the game “Lexico”, then “Criss Cross Words”, and “It”. Eventually, Alfred Butts, sold the game to James Brunot, who renamed it “Scrabble”. The game is now available in 29 different languages and sold in 121 countries around the world!
We hope you have a very verbose day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Alfred Mosher Butts wanted to design a game that involved both skill and chance. The popular board games at the time were either number games (dice, bingo), move games (checkers, chess), or word games (anagrams, cross word puzzles).
Initially the game was not very popular or profitable. James Brunot’s factory make 2400 sets, but lost $450 on the venture. In 1952, the president of Macy’s, Jack Strauss, played the game on vacation. He was very surprised that his own store did not sell the game, and placed a large order so he could start to sell the game. Within a year, it was incredibly popular; so popular Brunot could not keep up with demand. He sold rights to the game to a game manufacturing company. Currently rights to the game are held by Hasbro. About 150 million sets have been sold worldwide.
The street sign at 35th Avenue and 81st Street in Jackson Heights, where Scrabble was invented, has stylized letters to commemorate this event.
Alfred Mosher Butts created another board names “Alfred’s Other Game”