Much like our notable woman of last week, Elizabeth Magie has been written out of history and her accomplishment & legacy nearly erased from public knowledge.
Elizabeth, or Lizzie as she was more often called, was an American game designer now best known for creating a beloved game, Monopoly–or as she called it “The Landlord’s Game.” Magie patented her game in 1904.
Early in her life, Lizzie was inspired and invigorated by the economic philosophy of Henry George. George’s philosophy was one with equality at its core. Georgists, like Lizzie, believed that “economic value derived from land, including natural resources and natural opportunities, [and] should belong to all residents of a community, but that people themselves own the value that they create themselves.” A very progressive philosophy.
Lizzie’s influences, Georgism, and her father–a newspaper publisher and abolitionist–lead her to be a forward thinking, strong woman.
Typically in these posts, I’d delve into the history myself–but one of my sources is so excellent that I think it warrants a read. If you’d like to know more about Elizabeth Magie and the invention of Monopoly, read Mary Pilon’s article, “Monopoly’s Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn’t Pass Go,” on the New York Times’ website. I hope you enjoy learning all about this incredible woman as much as I did!
Another great resource can be found at: http://www.henrygeorge.org/dodson_on_monopoly.htm.