Milton Bradley was born in Vienna, Maine in 1836 is considered to have launched the board game industry in North America. He dared to venture into the board game field, but board games weren't his first passion and they weren't his last.
Long before Milton Bradley decided to attempt the creation of his first board game, he was a successful lithographer. In fact, he is credited with opening the first color lithography shop in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The first board game that Milton Bradley built was The Checkered Game of Life. It was so popular that it prompted him to create the Milton Bradley and Company in 1864. In just a short time, Milton Bradley's game had sold over 45,000 copies.
The story of how he came up with the idea goes something like this. He was said to have visited a friend who happened to have a board game he played with Bradley. The board game was said to have been European with a turn dial similar to the one Bradley used in The Checkered Game of Life.
It was this game that was said to have inspired Milton Bradley to build his first board game. It was the success of that board game that inspired him to keep building games and instruction manuals. His next passion seems only logical.
Milton Bradley had a interest not only in board games, but also in childhood education. In addition to creating manuals for his board games, he also authored a number of writings on kindergarten and teaching.
Today the Milton Bradley Company is now a division of Hasbro, Inc. However, many of the early games have become time-honored childhood favorites. The Game of Life, and Candy Land are still favorites of parents and children all over the United States and are still being played just as often.
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