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Parker Brothers

Parker Brothers was founded by George S. Parker in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1883. It was originally called the George S. Parker Company, but was renamed after George's brother Charles joined the company in 1888. A third brother, Edward, joined the company in 1898.

Parker Brothers

George had designed his first game at the age of 16, called Banking, which he initially tried to launch by approaching two Boston publishers but the game was rejected. Undaunted, he decided to invest $40 to publish 500 copies of the game himself and managed to sell all but 12 of them, making a profit of $100.

As the games industry grew, the company became very profitable, with George designing most of the games himself. In 1906, Parker Brothers produced the biggest selling card game ever, called Rook, but it was in 1935 that they published the biggest selling board game of all time, Monopoly, which was licensed to Waddingtons in the UK.

The company was owned by the Parker family until 1963, when it was purchased by General Mills. In the UK during the 1970's, Parker Brothers was the games division of Palitoy, another General Mills company. The name on these games is just given as Parker, rather than Parker Brothers.

In the 1980's the company was eventually merged with Kenner, another General Mills subsidiary, to produce Kenner Parker Toys Inc. In 1987, this company was bought by Tonka and in 1991, Tonka, plus Parker Brothers, were acquired by Hasbro.