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This Day in History

Australian History

Wednesday, January 19, 1955. :   The board game 'Scrabble' makes its debut in Australia and the UK.

     Scrabble is a board game in which up to four players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a 15x15 square game board. The game was created by architect Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938, as a variation on an earlier word game he invented called Lexiko (from "lexicography", meaning the process of writing, editing, or compiling a dictionary). Originally called Criss-Crosswords, it was not a success. In 1948, lawyer James Brunot bought the rights to manufacture the game in exchange for granting Butts a royalty on every unit sold. He made a few minor adjustments, simplified the rules and changed the name to Scrabble. After selling the game to Macy's department store, demand soared, making Scrabble the popular game it is today. J W Spear & Sons began selling the game in Australia and the UK on 19 January 1955.

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