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The Merry Game of Old Maid

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Dublin Core

Title

The Merry Game of Old Maid

Description

In western cultures, unmarried older women are often objects of humor, and many “old maids” appear in novels, theatrical performances, movies, and more. McLoughlin Brothers issued Old Maid games in many forms, the most common being card games. The game dates to the seventeenth century and involves pairing up of cards until just one remains (the old maid). This 1898 board game takes a different approach, having the players assume the Old Maid persona as they move through the streets of the game, meeting all kinds of people in the neighborhood—some that slow them down (listening to a fish story told by a long-winded neighbor) and others that speed them up. Here the object is to avoid being the last Old Maid to make it to the center of the board. Numerous cultural and racial stereotypes fill the “street,” including Count Dago and The Nigger. Today considered problematic, these terms were in common use in America during the nineteenth century.

Source

The Merry Game of Old Maid. New York: McLoughlin Brothers, 1898

Publisher

McLoughlin Brothers

Date

1898

Identifier

534200

Catalog no. 96

Citation

“The Merry Game of Old Maid,” Radiant With Color, accessed May 25, 2019, http://americanantiquarian.org/radiantwithcolor/items/show/40.