Board game:Monopoly

John Heap1914

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

Most everyone believes that Philadelphian Charles Darrow invented the game Monopoly and it was first published and became popular around the year 1934. However, in 1974 Ralph Anspach published his game called "Anti-Monopoly." The game found a niche and Anspach eventually sold around a million copies worldwide. Along the way, the makers of Monopoly (then owned by General Mills but now part of Hasbro) brought a lawsuit against Anspach, claiming that Darrow had invented and registered the name "Monopoly," and Anspach could not use the name. Game confiscations and burnings followed, but eventually Anspach won the ten-year-long lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Part of the evidence he provided were several folk-art versions of Monopoly. One of these is this game, known as the Heap Folk Art Monopoly. During the trial, Mr. Heap provided photographs of his game and also made a deposition that he'd played Monopoly as a child in his teens, as early as 1913. The street names in this version represent Altoona, PA where Heap grew up, and many other details of the board and the playing pieces are directly related to the game Monopoly as we know it. This is the best preserved and most complete of the known pre-Darrow Monopoly games in existence, and its description was also featured in Anspach's 1998 book, "The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle."

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Board game:Monopoly
  • Creator: John Heap
  • Date Created: 1914, 1914
  • Location: Altoona, PA, Altoona, PA
  • Subject Keywords: Monopoly, Altoona, PA, Monopoly, Altoona, PA
  • Type: Board Games, Board Games
  • Medium: postcard, printed paper, painted wood
  • Object ID: 110.4372, 110.4372

Additional Items