Classic American Games

US FLAGBruce Whitehill's book Games: American Boxed Games and Their Makers - 1822-1992, (Radnor, Pennsylvania: Wallace-Homestead, 1992), offers information about the origins and distribution of a number of boxed games which (in some cases) have been popular in the United States for over a century. Many of these games are played all over the world today. Whitehill, a founder of the American Game Collectors Association (now The Game & Puzzle Collectors Association), is a private collector and authority on American game manufacture. The picture at the left is on a box platform in the "Classic American Game" - Go To The Head of The Class.

In Chapter 5 of his book, Whitehill indicates that some of these games have their origins at an earlier time in other parts of the world. However, a number of the ones cited (Whitehill points out}, were "reinvented" in the United States - then redesigned and published by American game manufacturers. He indicates that while the origins of certain games appear to be based upon earlier games, with their "reinvention", they take on aspects of American Culture, and indeed may be considered "Classic American Board Games". A goodly number of these games appear to have been redesigned to reflect changing American tastes. Many are still available - some with modified names - some from multi-national corporations which have "absorbed" their original producers - and some are still available in a form that prior generations would recognize and say, "I had one of those!"

This section offers the viewer information and graphic examples of games cited by Whitehill that are part of the collection. In some instances, the collection includes a specific game cited by Whitehill, or another edition or later derivative of the same game. All games cited by Whitehill in his book are included in the matrix below; however, those that are not in the collection are so indicated.

Click on a photograph below to see information about a game.

BattleshipBlockheadCandylandChutes & Ladders
Battleship Blockhead Candyland Ladders
ConcentrationFlinch Game of IndiaGo-Bang
Consentration Flinch Game of India Go Bang
Head of Class Monopoly Othello Pente
Ludo Monopoly Othello Pente
Parcheesi Password Pit Pollyanna
Parcheesi Pit Pollyanna
Racko RiskRook Scrabble
Racko Rook Scrabble
SorryStrategoUncle WiggilyYahtzee
Sorry Stratego Uncle Wiggily Yatzee

Last update March 4, 2010