Parker Brothers 1893 The Good Old Game of Proverbs
The Good Old Game of Proverbs, published by Parker Brothers in 1893, demonstrates the simplicity of ‘party games’ of the time, and offers a wonderful glimpse into past pleasures. The game consists of merely 96 small cards (1”x2”), each with a Proverb written upon it. Instructions for various methods of how to play with these Proverbs’ Cards are also included inside the colorful game box.
The box itself measures only 5” x 6.5”, but don’t let the size fool you, because as mentioned, it is packed full of tiny pieces of wisdom. I love getting the game out, and if not to play, to just pick out a random Proverb to read. They are timeless treasures and interesting words to keep in mind.
And that is just what the game did. It challenged players of Proverbs as to whether or not they kept the Proverbs in mind. For one method of playing the game was as follows:
*One player is selected to leave the room and be the ‘Guesser’.
*All other players choose one of the Proverbs from the box.
*Each of these players, in order, are given ONE word from the chosen Proverb, and then the Guesser is invited back in.
*The Guesser is then to ask one player at a time a Question. The player must answer him, but he must include the word from the Proverb he was given, in his answer.
*The Guesser continues asking Questions to players, to which they answer with inclusion of the given Proverb word, until the Guesser can figure out and cite The Proverb.
*The player who gave the final answer, which allowed the Guesser to cite the correct Proverb, is then the Guesser, and play repeats.
Simple, but interesting. Not only do I wonder what type of questions were commonly asked, but also how elaborate the answers were! I can imagine players got pretty creative. (or when we play it, we do today at least)
And of course that is partly what offers the fun and laughs. Not only trying to catch the Proverb word in the answer and realize the Proverb, but to think of questions and answers. I’m sure many players would have made comments similar to today’s WTF?
Some of the Proverbs in the box are extremely well known today. Such as:
Haste makes waste, It is no use to cry over spilt milk, or A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Others a bit less so. Such as:
Many littles make a mickle, Never attempt to bite a file, or A cat may look at a king.
What I ask myself is what if a player hadn’t ever heard of the Proverb; How is he suppose to ‘Guess it’? I suppose it was thought players would know them.
Within the directions are a few other methods of how to play. There rules include for all players to ‘Shout’ their word out at once, and have the Guesser name the Proverb, or have the players act out their words or the full Proverb itself.
Imagine acting out: The Early Bird Gets the Worm or Procrastination if a Thief of Time.
And so I appreciate this old game of Proverbs sitting on my shelf, and it’s simple way to bring out and offer laughs yet today….even after over 100 years it is still an enjoyable game.
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