Introduction to Scrabble timeline
Scrabble is the ultimate crossword game in which every letter counts. Let us look at some of the interesting facts about this game.
1860: Milton Bradley an American board game manufacturer established a company in Massachusetts.
1867: Game manufacture E.G. Selchow is founded in New York City
1869: E.G. Selchow & Co (of New York) copyrights Parcheesi in the United States Selchow and Righter merged to form Selchow & Righter Co.
April 13, 1899: Alfred Mosher Butts born in Poughkeepsie, NY
1923: Henry, Hilal, and Herman Hassenfeld from Hassenfeld Brothers Inc in Providence, RI. The name is later changed to Hasbro.
1924: Alfred Mosher Butts graduates from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in architecture. And joins Holden McLaughlin and Associates, an architectural firm in New York.
1931: After being laid off, Alfred Mosher Butts conceived of the idea for a word game called Lexiko.Initially, he did not devote much time to this concept.
1933: Butts peddles his now-complete game to various board game and publishing companies, including Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers but his game gets rejected as it lacked certain nuances.
August 1934: Butts has sold 84 sets for a total of $127.03, losing just over $20.
1934-1938:Butts begins to make some changes in his game Lexico to make it more saleable.
1938: Butts was recruited by Y Holden McLaughlin.
c1938: Butts names his revamped game Criss-Cross Words.
1939: Butts is introduced to James Brunot,
1942-1947: James Brunot is moving to Washington to become the President’s War Relief and Control Board’s executive director.
1947: James Brunot contacts Butts about the possibility of manufacturing Criss-Cross Words. Burnot makes some minor amendments to the game and changes the name to Scrabble.
1948: James Brunot and his wife Helen establish a factory, name their new venture Production & Marketing Company, and begin manufacturing Scrabble.
December 1, 1948: The Scrabble game board design is granted a Copyright.
December 16, 1948: The name Scrabble is registered as a trademark.
The Brunots make 2,413 sets of the game and sets and lose $450.
1951:The Brunots are selling 4,853 sets but still losing cash
Summer 1952: Jack Straus, president of MACY’S, discovers Scrabble while on a vacation. He places a large order, allegedly triggering other stores to do the same.
The Brunots return from a vacation in Kentucky to discover orders for 2,500 Scrabble sets are sold. Scrabble slowly becomes a national craze and more orders are being placed.
1952: James Brunot is visiting Selchow & Righter to ask them to produce Scrabble and market it. Brunot makes a deal with a small executive to have Selchow & Righter create on a contract basis game boards and boxes.
March 1953: Brunot and his now 35 employees are making 6,000 sets a week but are still unable to keep up with demand. On seeing the rising craze, Selchow and Righter decide to purchase the complete rights to market and distribute Scrabble in the United States and Canada. Selchow & Righter move from its cramped Brooklyn plant to more spacious facilities on Long Island’s South Shore. Nearly 800,000 standard Scrabble sets are sold along with 300,000 cardboard sets and 30,000 deluxe sets.
1953: The firm T.R. Urban begins manufacturing Scrabble for the Australian market.
1953: Books by Jacob Orleans and Edmund Jacobson: How to Win at SCRABBLE: The Official SCRABBLE Manual and the SCRABBLE Brand Word Guide are released.
1954: J.W. Spear and Sons begin manufacturing Scrabble for the U.K market.
1954: 3,798,555 Scrabble sets are sold including ones in foreign languages. Additionally, the Braille version of Scrabble is also introduced.
1955: Alfred Butts would earn just over $81,000 in Scrabble royalty.
1956: Just over one million games are sold.
1958-59: A professional Scrabble tournament is held at n Sparks, NV.
The 1960s: Serious competitive Scrabble tournament begins in New York City. 1968: Brunot sells the rights for Scrabble outside U.S, Canada, and Australia to J. W. Spears & Sons.
January 1, 1971: Butts sells his interest in Scrabble to Selchow & Righter for $75,000 plus $38,000 a year for five years.
1971: Jim Houle is employed by Selchow and Righter as a production supervisor.
1971: After noticing the popularity of Scrabble, Gyles Brandreth places an ad in The Times of London and creates the first British National Scrabble Championship.
1972: First Belgian National Championship is held using the French language.
1973: Chess City opens in New York City, later becomes a hot seat for competitive Scrabble.
Summer, 1973: The first issue of the Scrabble Players Newspaper is released.
August 1975: First Canadian Scrabble tournament is held and Michael Schulman is the winner.
1976: Scrabble Players announces that it will be creating a player’s dictionary to resolve disputes.
August 10-12 1983: Joel Wapnick wins the third National Scrabble championship., held at Chicago’s Drake Hotel.
1984: Hasbro acquires Milton Bradley.
September 1984: National rating system officially goes into effect.
October 1984: James Brunot’s demise.
1987: Selchow & Righter declares bankruptcy.
May 24, 1987: 12-year-old Adam Logan finishes second in division two at the Montreal tournament.
April 4, 1993: Alfred Mosher Butts dies at the age of 93.
March 1994: The Anti-Defamation League sends a letter to Hasbro CEO Alan Hassenfeld complaining about the inclusion of ethnic slurs in the OSPD.
June 1994: Judith Grad of McClean VA writes a series of letters complaining about the inclusion of offensive words in the OSPD, kicking off the banned word controversy.
February 1, 1996: OSPD 3 goes into effect.
3-7 November 1999: In Melbourne, Australia, Joel Wapnick wins the fifth World Scrabble Championship.
August 5-10, 2000: Joe Edley wins the thirteenth championship held at Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.
July 7, 2001: Houghton Mifflin publishes Stefan Fatsis’ Word Freak
July 30, 2002: Word Freak paperback edition published by Penguin.
August 17-22, 2002: Joel Sherman wins the fourteenth championship.
2004: The documentary Word Wars by Erik Chaikin and Julian Petrillo is released.
2019: Nigel Richards, who captured his fifth title at the 2019 Mattel World Scrabble Championships by winning the final in Torquay, UK, is the current World Scrabble Champion.
Scrabble Records, Rating, Ranking, and International Champions
Highest game score records
1. 770: Mark Landsberg, June 13, 1993, Eagle Rock CA 2. 744: Tim Wilkinson, June 9, 2007, Dover NH 3. 724: Robin Pollock Daniel, Oct 22, 2006, Lake George NY 4. 719: Chris Reslock, February 1981, Xenia Ohio 5. 716: Ken Lambe, June 27, 1981, New York Game Room Tourney Prelim.
Highest Game Score - Club Record
1. 830: Michael Cresta, Oct 12, 2006, Lexington MA Club 2. 792: Nick Ballard, 1980, Chicago IL Club 3. 768: Sam Kantimathi, August 2002, Sacramento CA Club 4. 756: Judy Levitt, February 23, 2005, Los Angeles CA Club 5. 753: James Kille, January 2004, Philadelphia PA Club 6. 728: John Luebkemann, September 1988, Cincinnati OH Club 7. 724: Bill Blevens, December 10, 1980, Cleves Ohio Club #88
Highest Game Score - World Record
1,049 points, Phil Appleby (England), June 25, 1989
Highest Single Play
1. 365 points: QUIXOTRY, Michael Cresta, Lexington MA Club, Oct 12, 2006 (club record) 2. 338 points: DEFUZING, Jeff Widergren (former club record) 3. 329 points: FREEZING, Carl Twickler, Huntington NY, 2002 4. 321 points: CONQUERS, Rhonda Harvey, 1985, Gonzales LA Club #188 5. 311 points: BRAZIERS, T. A. Sanders, January 1997, Tyler TX (tournament record) 311 points: CRAZIEST, Joe Koczan, May 28, 1996, Milwaukee Club 311 points: Robin Schlauch, January 2001?, Atlantic City NJ 6. 302 points: METHODIZE, Jeff Clark, 1993, Saginaw MI Club #49 302 points: REEQUIPS, Ron Manson, Toronto 302 points: COEQUATE, Carol Dustin, Minneapolis MN Club #42, April 24, 1992, 302 points: BRUSQUER, Elizabeth Ralston, Los Angeles CA Club #195, 2005
Highest Opening Play
126 points, MuZJIKS, Jesse Inman, July 2008, National Scrabble Championship, Orlando FL 124 points: BEZIQUE
Chronological list of 700 point games list
1. 792: Nick Ballard, 1980, Chicago IL, Club (P)
2. 724: Bill Blevins, December 10, 1980, Cleves OH Club
3. 719: Chris Reslock, February 1981, Xenia OH Tournament
4. 716: Ken Lambe, June 27, 1981, New York Game Room Tourney Prelim
5. 706: Bill Blevins, 1981, Cleves OH Club
6. 700: David Walker, January 1995, Portland OR Club
7. 700: Joel Sherman, 1995, Reno NV Tournament
8. 710: Nathan Benedict, March 3, 2005, Tucson AZ Club
9. . 744: Tim Wilkinson, June 9, 2007, Dover NH
10. . 737: Michael Wolfberg, June 21, 2007, Lexington MA Club
Highest tie scorers
1. 502-502: John Chew Vs Zev Kaufman, 1997, Toronto Club Tournament
2. 499-499: Joe Edley Vs Jerry Lerman, 1980
3. 496-496: Shaun Goatcher Vs Craig Rowland, Toronto Club, 1998.
Longest played word
At 3C for68, Ken Clark played bingo CONSIDER. His opponent, Mark Powell later extended it to the word Consideration. for 28. On his last turn, In order to make RECONSIDERATION, the first 15-letter word ever played in a club or tournament game, Ken extended it again.
Most Bingos played
Dave Wiegand, Reno NV, Jan 2008 Wiegand opened his round 17 game against Lisa Odom with four consecutive bingos and added two more later.
Tournament record players
117+ Chuck Armstrong - won most tournaments.
Tournament wins by decade
Longest game played
April 1993 Gatlinburg tournament, Jan Dixon and Paul Avrin
Winning player records North America only
Ratings > 2150 Prior to 1983
1983 to present
Records of the tournaments
First Known Tournament: 1958-59 Sparks NV which was organized by Al Demers, president of the Reno Chamber of Commerce, the event drew around 500 players. Demers won the single-elimination tournament.
First Sanctioned Tournament Spring 1973 Brooklyn Scrabble players tournament
First Team Tournament New York Vs. Baltimore, June 1974 . This was held at the Carousel House in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.
First Canadian Tournament Toronto, August 1975, won by Michael Schulman
National SCRABBLE® Championship, 2004 - 837 players
National SCRABBLE® Championship, 2002 - 696 players
National SCRABBLE® Championship, 2005 - 682 players
National SCRABBLE® Championship, 2008 - 662 players
US SCRABBLE® Open, 2006 - 625 players
Los Gatos CA Smallest Tournament, October 2000 and Spartanburg SC vs McDonalds NC, May 20, 1989.
Shortest Tournament The two Catskills tournaments in the summer of 1973 consisted of only two games.
Majors are defined here as the 18 National Scrabble Championships, the 9 World Scrabble Championships, the 1995 Superstars Showdown, 2003 All*Stars, and the 2nd Players Championship 2007.
Joel Wapnick, Steve Polatnick, and Joe Edley were the most important players. In all 30 majors, Wapick is the only player to have played.
Highest Career Winning Percentage
70.2%: David Gibson
68.4%: Nigel Richards
67.4%: Brian Cappelletto
65.4%: Joe Edley
65.0%: Adam Logan
Money won by players
1. $134,525 David Gibson
2. $112,345 Brian Cappelletto
3. $73,385 Joe Edley
4. $61,060 Joel Sherman
5. $56,660 Nigel Richards
6. $56,005 Joel Wapnick
7. $48.485 Adam Logan
8. $43,470 Dave Wiegand
9. $40,015 Ron Tiekert
10. $37,885 Jim Kramer
Nationals in 1978, Jean Carol and Steve Williams completed their game in just seven minutes
The country with the highest winners
1. 57.1%: United Kingdom
2. 56.4%: Thailand
3. 55.6%: Canada
4. 55.5%: Nigeria
5. 55.4%: USA
Youngest and Oldest Champions
When he won the title in 2003 at age 19, Panupol Sujjayakorn became the youngest National Champion. When he won the title in 1999, Joel Wapnick was 53.
The country-wise performance index
MultiLingual national title
Two different languages for Romanian national titles: Liviu Jerghiuta (French and Romanian), Claudia Mihai (French and Romanian), and Dan-Laurentiu Sanduo (English and Romanian).