The Checkered Game of Life
Cardboard, wood, paper, bone
Open (board): 13 1/4 × 13 1/2 in. (33.7 × 34.3 cm)
lithographed: on the reverse of the board: "THE/ Checkered/ GAME/ OF/ LIFE. PUBLISHED BY/ MILTON BRADLEY & CO./ SPRINGFIELD, MASS." lithographed: on the box cover: "THE/ CHECKERED GAME/ OF/ LIFE."
"The Checkered Game of Life" board game with two paper covered cardboard gameboards and box to hold the playing pieces; boards chromolithographed with red and peach checkerboard paths from "Infancy" to "Happy Old Age"; reverse of boards printed, "THE/ Checkered/ GAME/ OF/ LIFE. PUBLISHED BY/ MILTON BRADLEY & CO./ SPRINGFIELD, MASS."; box cover lithographed with the inscription"THE/ CHECKERED GAME/ OF/ LIFE."; playing pieces include a paper instruction sheet, a wooden and cardboard teetotem and four bone playing pieces.
The marriage of spiritual values and worldly achievement first appeared in Milton Bradley's inaugural game, The Checkered Game of Life. As in the Mansion of Happiness, the game taught lessons of success achieved through virtuous living. However, Bradley's game also secularized the notion of virtuous living by rewarding material accomplishments. To celebrate the centennial of the game in 1960, Milton Bradley issued The Game of Life, which traced the steps from high school graduation to retire.
Hofer, Margaret K. "The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board & Table Games." New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003.
The Liman Collection
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.