Parker Brothers

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  • Parker Brothers was a famous Salem game board company started by brothers George, Charles, and Edward Parker in 1883. George's first game was one he called "Banking". By 1900, the company was a major force in the game industry. Though they produced hundreds of games, Monopoly became their most well-known board game.
  • As the company grew, Parker acquired land at 190 Bridge St., eventually growing to a 35,000 square foot office and manufacturing facility. It would later expand to 15 acres of land and employ 500 workers with offices in several foreign countries. The main factory was were the current Jefferson Apartments stand.
  • A single game rescued the company from a serious business slump caused by the Great Depression. Monopoly, submitted as a game idea by Charles Brace Darrow, was based on buying and selling real estate. It became highly popular, because it let people fantasize that they could win in the real estate market. Sales skyrocketed and by 1935, the plant was producing 20,000 sets a week.
  • Although founder George Parker died in 1952, his company expanded, eventually entering the VCR game market, and developing interactive CD-ROM games.
  • In 1978, the company moved its headquarters to Duham Road in Beverly.
  • In 1985, General Mills merged the company with their subsidiary Kenner; this new company, Kenner Parker Toys Inc., was acquired by Tonka in 1987. Tonka, including Parker Brothers, was bought by Hasbro in 1991.
  • After being bought out by Hasbro in 1991, the Parker Brothers plant in Salem closed and production facilities were transferred to a Milton Bradley factory in Springfield, Mass.
  • The Salem factory stayed open for three more years, making mostly Nerf footballs, until it was torn down in 1994.
  • Other board games under the name Parker Brothers are: Trivial Pursuit, Risk, Clue, Sorry! and the Ouija Board.

See Also

  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Parker Brothers
  • "George S. Parker, noted parlor-game maker of Salem dies at 85", Salem Evening News, Sept. 27, 1952, p. 8.
  • "Robert B. M. Barton, marketed Monopoly for Parker Bros., at 91."Boston Globe, Feb. 17, 1995. p.81
  • "Parker Bros. to close; Hasbro erases 135 jobs" Salem Evening News, Oct. 9, 1992, p.1
  • "Parker Brothers lot to be cleared; Hasbro seeks permit to demolish buildings" Salem Evening News, July 8, 1996, p. A1
  • "Salem luxury units get final OK; work at Parker Brothers site to start next month", Salem News, Dec.8, 2000, p.A1
  • "Parker Brothers reunion recalls fun with games" Salem News, April 14, 2006, p. A1