Back to all articles

The History of Scrabble

Scrabble is a popular pastime today, but did you know that it was invented during the Great Depression? At the time, architect Alfred M. Butts had a lot of time to spare, and he used it to create a game of 100 lettered tiles that could be used to form words on a square grid that resembled a crossword puzzle. He first named the game Lexiko, then Criss Cross, but sales remained low. In 1948, Butts licensed the rights to the game to a man named James Brunot, who refined the rules, updated the design, and came up with a new name: Scrabble. Word of mouth created quite a following for the game, and by 1954, sales had exceeded $4.5 million. Today, the game continues to be massively popular. Scrabble is currently owned and distributed by Hasbro, Inc. and sells 2 million copies annually in the United States as well as millions more internationally each year.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.