By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (December 1, 2023) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps celebrates the puzzle of words.


This well know game first called Criss-Crosswords, was rejected at first by many manufacturers and game companies, but it had a major turning point when Macy’s President played it on vacation in 1952.  He thought that every household should have a copy.

While the invention of the game was by Alfred Butts 1938, not much happened until the manufacturing rights were acquired by James Brunot on December 1, 1948 – 75 years ago. 

His sales took off in the next few years, in part by the endorsement by Macy’s President. 

The game was renamed to Scrabble in 1948 by Brunot.

Eventually Hasbro acquired the game.  It also was a daytime TV show twice.

Scrabble is sold in 120 countries, using local language rules, and about 120 million games have been sold in the past 75 years.  Do you have one?

In honor of Butts’s home state New York, here is Colton’s map of the Empire State from 1855.  

New York 1855 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.