Stryker Landlord / Monopoly (USA)

Maker: Prof. Roy Stryker and his wife - ±1927

Dimensions of the square oilcloth: 36" x 40" (0.91 x 1.02 m)

This is what Philip Orbanes had to say about this version in December 2002:

"A student named Rexford Tugwell learned the game from Prof. Nearing at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Tugwell became Stryker's economics professor at Columbia University. Stryker also became a professor of economics at Columbia. He and his wife made this copy of the game, either while he was a student or shortly thereafter. I believe the reason why the street names are from around the country is that they were suggested by students and friends who played the game with the Strykers. The little planning sheets that came with this handmade game are priceless because they show the thought and care that went into the design of the board and its selection of colors.

The reason why Stryker's game is not mentioned in Prof.Ralph Anspach's book is because it was forgotten until recently. After Stryker went to Washington, Parker published Monopoly and the Stryker's packed their game away. The Strykers moved back to Colorado after leaving Washington, DC in the late 1930s. When they died, the box was left to their daughter. When she died, her two daughters inherited it. One of them heard of me and offered to sell it as they had no further interest in the game. I think this game has special significance because it fills a void. Namely, it is still called Landlord and yet it is from the early 1920s, but it has some of Monopoly's features. It also retains many of the Landlords game's features and thus appears to be a missing link between the two."

See for more detail pictures and different information the historical site of Thomas Forsyth in Portland, Oregon, USA.

The names of the spaces on the board are mainly found in New York City and nearby Northern New Jersey. However, a few were likely named in honour of places of importance to their friends. From HOME, all the numbered properties are:

Peoria, Ill. - Alameda, Cal. - Absolute Necessities - No Trespassing/Go To Jail - Jazzmania and Western R.R. - Winnepesaukee, N.H. - Pottawottamie, Mich. - Speculation - Kabinagagami, Ont. - Jail/War Tax $ 10- Ann Arbor, Mich. - Nescopeck, Pa. - The Public Serve Us Gas and Light Co. - Aldene, N.J. - The Erie R.R. - Washington Heights - The Bowery - Necessity Doctor - Jackson Heights - Central Park Free - Hohokus, N.J. - Hoboken, N.J. - Chance - Weehowken, N.J. - New York, New Haven, and Death R.R./Communication - Mosquito Terrace - Crimson Rambler Appartments - The Toonerville Trolly Co. - Huletts Landing - Go to Jail/Keep off. This means YOU. - Newport Mews - Hylan-Hurst - Absolute Necessity Food-Clothing - Westchester Country Club - Pacific Philadelphia Rail Road Co./Freight - Fith Avenue - Chance/Oil Stocks - Wall Street and Luxury Tax/Pay $ 75.

Lizzie J.Magie's 1904 patent gives following explanation for certain spaces:

  • Absolute necessities:
    These spaces, which are preferably blue, indicate absolute necessities - such as bread, coal, shelter, and clothing - and when a player stops upon any of these he must pay five dollars into the "Public treasury." (This represents indirect taxation.)
  • No trespassing:
    Spaces marked "No trespassing" represent property held out of use, and when a player stops on one of these spaces he must go to jail and remain there until he throws a double or until he pays into the "Public treasury" a fine of fifty dollars. When he comes out, he must count from the space immediately in front of the jail.
  • Luxuries:
    These spaces, preferably purple, represents the luxuries of life, and if a player stops on a "Luxury" he pays 50 dollars to the "Public treasury", receiving in return a luxury ticket, which counts him 60 dollars at the end of the game.

Some remarkable differences of this Landlord Game compared to the patent are:

  • The starting corner is Home, rather than Mother Earth.
  • The board's centre field is totally empty, whereas Lizzie Magie suggested to divide this square into 4 divisions for the reception of the boxes "Wages", "Bank", "Public treasury" and "Railroad".
  • While the Lizzie patent says coal taxes of $ 5 to be payed, prof. Stryker changed it into a War tax of $ 10.00, apparently influenced by the hard times after WW I (1914-1919).
  • The third corner is a Free Park rather than Free Parking.

All 38 property deeds and Chance cards are neutral and without any colour bar nor triangle. The texts are typed out. Some examples of the simple instructions on the (unnamed) Chance cards are:

  • Hooke $100
  • Swipe $50
  • War Profits $25
  • Pay $10

While Lizzie states in her 1904 patent there are "notes" and "money" Ron only applied following coins (laundry-tags): 50 x $100 - 25 x $50 - 25 x $25 - 50 x $10 - 50 x $5 and 100 x $1.

There are no hotels, only 32 handmade and painted, flat, unique houses. The price of the houses is $100 for all of the properties. Each time a house is added to the property its rent doubles, a whole street built with 1 house redoubles the rent again, ect. The tokens are 6 triangular wooden blocks.

The typed Rules comprises less than one sheet.