Mansion of Happiness Board

Photo by ItsLassieTime

The game board's goal at track's end

Photo by William Ives, Stephen B. Ives





The Mansion of Happiness is arguably one of the precursors for the popular modern board games, instilled with heavy Christian morality element.




The Mansion of Happiness is a roll-and-move track board game that consist the pieces that represent individual players who participate, and a board that has over sixty space spiraling the board, each describing Christian virtues and vice. That objective of the game is to be the first one to finish the track.



Mansion of happiness was designed in the 19th century by British game designer George Fox, and the first print of the game was in gold ink and water coloring made primarily for royalty. The second and third edition of the game where made with copper and distributed among the populace of English. By 1843 W. & S. B. Ives brought the game to the states and published in Salem, Massachusetts. After the Parker Brothers bought the rights to Ives games, they marketed as the first board game published in the United States. (1)


With The Mansion Of Happiness published from 1800 in England to 1926 in The United States, it is the longest continuously published board game with a known designer, George Fox. That totals 126 years of continuous publication.


Obviously Chess, Draughts (Checkers), Go, and many other board games have been continuously published for a longer time, but no ones knows the designer of these games. (2)



Today the original publications of the game is a rare find among game shops, and qualifies as a collector's item. Some third party reproduction of the game can be found online from time to time.

Game box for playing Senet

Photo by ddenisen / CC BY

The origin of games is one of the oldest human civilization lineage, spanning over millenniums of development to date. From archaeological evidence traditional games is one of the fundamental aspect of life in the ancient world, and is paramount to the development of social culture and military strategies. Many of these games became modern day family fun for holidays and occasions to enjoy.

Family Playing Boardgame Together

Photo by krisnfred / CC BY



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