The BUILD-a-HOME Game c1935 (00.html)

The Game Board

The Build-a-Home game board shown below is a reproduction.

(To enlarge .....Click it)
thumb: The Game Board
The Game Board

On the actual game board, a merchant's name was written on each of the 19 squares around the board.



The Game
During the depression of the "Dirty Thirties", a children's board game was created and delivered to 1000 homes in a Canadian town. The game resembled Monopoly but the winner was the first to complete the building of a home.

Components of the Game
The Build-a-Home game was delivered by milkmen to each home where children lived. The game was delivered in a paper bag. It consisted of the following items:
-A square board measuring approximately 17" by 17" with 20 squares around the sides
-each square represented a different merchant in the town
-each merchant named on the board supplied materials or services needed to build a home.
-6 counters, one per player
-19 different cards, one per merchant. (6 copies of each card were placed on each merchant's square around the board.)
-an instruction sheet describing the rules to play the game
Playing The Game
Each player would choose a counter and place it on the square marked "Start". Instead of using dice, each player would choose a card from a deck of playing cards to determine how far to move his counter. The player would then move his counter from square to square according to the number on the playing card. When the player landed on his last square, he would pick up the top card that was on the square. The card would contain the materials or services provided by the merchant named on the square.

Other Rules
If a player's counter landed on the square marked "Fire" and if the player didn't have an Insurance card then his house would burn down and all his cards would be returned to the board. The winner was the first player to accumulate all the materials and services necessary to build a home.

Creation of the Game
Two high-school students created the game. They invented the game, crafted all the components of the game, sold advertising (on the squares) to local merchants and arranged for free delivery of the game to all the children in the town.

Selling Price
The game was given away for free. Remember this was the time of the depression, very few families could spend money on games.

Delivery of the Game
The game was delivered by the city's milkmen (probably Palm Dairy milkmen) to 1000 families who had children.

Does anyone know which town this was?
  Here's a clue: Some of the merchants were:
Palm Dairies
Hodge Coal
Security Lumber
E Keough
other merchants represented were:
a plumber, an insurance agent, an electrical contractor, a paint supplier, a furniture dealer.

Yes, the town was Moose Jaw.
Does anyone remember the Build-a-Home game?
Does anyone know where a copy of the game can be found?
Does anyone know who these two high-school students were?
They were Earl Nant and Vic Cole.
Believe it or not, they sold advertising squares to merchants for $5.00 each, netting them $95.00. Remember, this was back in 1935. Part of this money permitted Earl and Vic to buy their first used car for $10.00.

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Last Updated: 2014 G Jul 29
/WebMaster: David KC COLE