Something’s not quite right in the game of Monopoly. Why does everyone remember Rich Uncle Pennybags wearing a monocle? Maybe we’re confusing him with Mr. Peanut. Somebody had the top hat and the monocle, right? Maybe if Monopoly’s history is examined a little more we can get to the bottom of this. The game has been revised a few times since it was created by Parker Brothers in 1933.
Characters with a Top Hat and a Monocle
The image of a top hat and a monocle was associated with high society during the late 19th century and early 20th century. We remember Mr. Peanut, who has been a logo for Planters peanuts for years. The penguin from Batman also donned a top hat and monocle combination. Many non-fictional characters sported this look as well. Have people just been assuming the monocle belongs on Rich Uncle Pennybags as well? Or could we have really seen it, perhaps in one of the early versions of the game?
Early Versions of Monopoly
The idea of Monopoly began in 1902, although it wasn’t patented until 1904. This game was called The Landlord’s Game. There seems to be no representation of anyone resembling a rich uncle in this game, though. In 1933 Charles Darrow developed a game “loosely derived from” the original Landlord’s game. Parker Brothers purchased the patent in 1935. There are many early box designs. http://monopoly.cdbpdx.com/ does a great job of featuring and describing quite a few. Notice the first “Mr. Monopoly”. He is more casually dressed, and definitely does not wear a monocle. I find the fact that he is winking a tad creepy though. Almost like he knows something.
“Sorry folks, no monocle on me! Hahaha…”
Rich Uncle Pennybags did not originate in Monopoly. He was originally from a different Parker Brothers Game: Dig. Although I was hoping to uncover a monocle here, I did not. Our original Mr. Monopoly simply never had a monocle.
The only picture I can find on the internet of Rich Uncle Pennybags wearing a monocle has been photoshopped. And that didn’t even look right, now that I’ve seen so many images of him without one. But there are quite a few people out there that want the monocle back (even though it never was…?).
Sign the petition to request Hasbro to redesign Mr. Monopoly, to include his monocle here:
Dig in Deeper: