The Parker Brothers of Salem, MA have Advice For the End of the Semester

Hey First Years!

You’re probably are all wondering where this blog is going! First, let me give you some background of who the Parker Brothers are and how they relate to you and your success here at Salem State!

Did you know that the Parker Brothers (yes the founders of Monopoly) were born in Salem and helped create many versions of the now well-known board game! Pretty cool, huh?!


George Parker was born in Salem on Dec. 12, 1866. His father, a sea captain turned merchant, had lost most of his money in the panic of the early 1870s. He died in 1877, when George was 10. His widowed mother and two brothers, along with an aunt and an uncle, lived in an 18-room house in Medford, Mass. One of those rooms had shelves full of board games, which were relatively new in Puritan Massachusetts.

An early board game acceptable to liberal Puritans was called The Mansion of Happiness: An Instructive Moral and Entertainment Amusement. It was first printed in the United States in Salem in 1843. Parker Brothers would later buy the rights to the game and republish it in 1894.firstamericanprintrunofthe_mansionofhappiness

By 1887, George Parker had hired his first employee and rented a store in Salem for $12.50 a month (where the Hawthorne Hotel now stands). He realized he was good at selling and developing games. He was not so good at production and finance, though his older brother Charles was. George in 1888 invited Charles to join him as a partner and Parker Brothers was born. Another brother, Edward, would join them 10 years later.

Later down the road The Parker Brother’s leased an old laundry on Bridge Street and went to work. As the company grew they decided to adhere its pledge to make games that “look well, play well and sell well”. Years passed and they worked and improved upon their game.


George Parker retired from Parker Brothers’ day-to-day operations as Monopoly was taking off. The company would go on to sell iconic games such as Clue, Sorry!, Risk, Trivial Pursuit and Ouija, and it would introduce the Nerf ball. It would remain family-owned until 1968, when it was sold to General Mills. After a series of mergers, the Salem plant on Bridge Street closed in 1991.

George Parker believed business was like a game, that if you followed the rules you could win. He developed 12 rules that he followed all his life.

Here is were YOU come in! These 12 rules that The Parker Brothers followed and became success and they can also help you become success here at Salem State!

  1. Know your goal and reach for it.-Always keep your end goal in mind even when things get tough. Just remember your ultimate goal is to graduate and gain knowledge about your certain area of study and use that in your professional life.
  2. Find “winning moves”. – When you know that something works well for you, like places to go study, resources, and people that can help you reach those goals hold onto those and use those to your advantage.
  3. Play by the rules but capitalize on them.- Take advantage of attendance for classes and known that in the long run that will help better understand the materials if you make a conscious effort to go to class.
  4. Learn from failure; build upon success. – When something doesn’t work well for you in the beginning learn from that improve upon that for the future.
  5. When faced with a choice, make the move with the most potential benefit versus risk. – When you make choice’s during your years in college think about how those choices could help benefit you in the long run.
  6. When luck runs against you, hold emotion in check and set up for your next advance.- When things get tough, hold strong and just keep moving forward.
  7. Never hesitate and give your opponents a second chance. – When things don’t go completely the way you with others in college keep an open mind and give them a second chance. These years are for growth and learning!
  8. Seek help if the game threatens to overwhelm you. – Ask for help when you need it! We have so many resources available on campus that are here to help with any of your needs!
  9. Bet heavily when the odds are long in your favor. – It may seem intimidating taking chances and getting involved on campus with clubs and other activities but its worth it!
  10. If opportunity narrows, focus on your strengths.- If need be always go back to your strength and work with those resources.
  11. Be a gracious winner or loser. Don’t be petty. Share what you learn. – If you succeed in something be humble and help and give feedback to others. If you feel that you’re struggling ask for help from others and learn.
  12. Ignore principles 1 to 11 at your peril!- You don’t have to follow all of these rules word for word but use what you think can apply to your life and success here at Salem State.

It can be fascinating to learn and make those connections to Salem State and the surrounding community and how that can contribute to your overall success as a student! By taking these 12 rules to live by from The Parker Brothers you too can become successful!


-FYM Kathryn











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