A 1930s party-planning manual for members of the American Communist Party, downloadable as a PDF here
. Let's just say, those guys knew how to throw a cheap party.
More info from a 2003 article in the NY Times
Published in the late 1930s by the party's New York state branch and recently rediscovered by a Brandeis University historian, it's a 15-page illustrated tutorial in the art of ideologically correct fraternizing. Among the suggested high jinks: cutting editorials from The Daily Worker into pieces and having guests see who can put them back together fastest, or holding a mock convention on, say, nonintervention in Spain. "One guest is made chairman. Another is Chamberlain, another Leon Blum, a third Mussolini," the pamphlet cheerfully explains. Or why not try a round of anti-Fascist darts? "Draw a picture of Hitler, Mussolini, Hague or another Girdleresque pest. Put it on a piece of soft board with thumbtacks. Six throws for a nickel, and a prize if you paste Hague in the pants, or Trotsky in the eye," the pamphlet instructs.
Also, advertise "All the free beer you can drink!" but charge expensive admission at the door ("Yes, people will pay!"). And then:
Pour your beer in the center of the glass not down the inside. POURING IN THE MIDDLE GIVES MORE FOAM AND LESS LIQUID — STRETCHES EACH BARREL FURTHER.
The thrilling, incomprehensible, unnerving history of tabletop soccer.
Home page of Subbuteo.
[Click to enlarge]
" sounds ugly, like "drool." And these jokes are fit only to entertain an eight-year-old. Excellent campaign to indicate quality of product and sophistication of audience.
Original ad here.
How quickly these sessions devolved into outright swingers' orgies is a matter of historical record.
Everyone knows Mouse Trap. But who recalls its sister game, Crazy Clock? Why would one become famous, the other forgotten? The vagaries of play....
I want to see Hasbro or Mattel market this game today.
Original article here.
A home owner found something neat while pulling up old carpet, a hand painted monopoly
board. It follows the original pretty closely except the names of properties are omitted. Oh and also, sexy lady silhouettes grace the community chest squares.
Back in the days before TV and the internet, people amused themselves over the holidays by playing parlour games. One game popular in Regency-era Britain was "Bullet Pudding" [via tywkiwdbi
]. Jane Austen's niece Fanny Knight described it in a letter sent to a friend :
You must have a large pewter dish filled with flour which you must pile up into a sort of pudding with a peek at top. You must then lay a bullet at top and everybody cuts a slice of it, and the person that is cutting it when it falls must poke about with their noses and chins till they find it and then take it out with their mouths of which makes them strange figures all covered with flour but the worst is that you must not laugh for fear of the flour getting up your nose and mouth and choking you: You must not use your hands in taking the Bullet out.
Nothing gets a party going like playing with live ammunition! The illustration below by Francis Hayman shows the moment when the bullet toppled from the top of the Flour pyramid.
Another game, called Snapdragon, involved lighting a bowl of brandy punch on fire and then trying to pick the raisins and nuts out of the punch without burning your fingers. Austenonly
comments, "Though brandy does not burn at a particularly high heat it was still possible to be scorched and the point of the fun was to watch peoples expressions as they darted their fingers through the flames, picking out the fruit or nuts."
Perhaps it's wise that this 1973 game is no longer manufactured. Hard to imagine it being very popular in today's economy. But if you still want a set, so you can pretend to be part of the 1%, check out the link to Amazon below.
More info here.