Parker Brothers was established by George Swinnerton Parker in 1883 and quickly grew into one of the leading American game companies. Their main product and game creation, Monopoly, has become an icon of gaming culture worldwide. Furthermore, Parker Brothers produced many classic board games such as Clue (known as Cluedo outside North America), Risk, and Sorry!.
George Parker first became interested in card and board gaming as a teenager, when he invented Banking as his first card and board game at age 16. Played by family and friends alike, Banking proved so popular that Parker decided to publish it himself. Approaching two Boston publishers but being turned down led him to use $40 of his life savings to have five hundred sets printed under the George S. Parker Co. banner and launch it officially.
Parker Brothers began as a simple game of chance in which players would borrow money from a bank and attempt to leverage it through speculation. To add strategy and depth, Parker added lettered cards and a borrowing rule which expanded it into Banker – an instant hit with players and an integral component of Parker Brothers.
Parker Brothers expanded its product offering during the early 1900s by diversifying into card and other toys beyond board games, such as Flinch, Pit and Rook card games. Furthermore, Parker expanded their product offering with wood jigsaw puzzles.
Parker Brothers rebounded after the Great Depression of the 1930s to become one of the premier game manufacturers, thanks to the enormous success of Big Business and Monopoly which became household names.
Parker Brothers first released classic games such as Aggravation, Ouija and Bop It in the 1970s. Additionally, Parker Brothers introduced various Monopoly spinoff games such as Advance to Boardwalk and Invest in Yourself during this era. By 1991, Parker Brothers was acquired by Tonka who then combined forces with Milton Bradley to form Hasbro; eventually dissolving in 2009 but many classic Parker Brothers titles continue being available under Hasbro brand today.