From it's invention in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts, an out-of-work architect from Poughkeepsie, New York, Scrabble has grown from being an underground craze to a cultural icon. Until are excited to present this new range of officially licensed homewares and stationery celebrating the bestselling game.
Back in 1948, established game manufacturers were unanimous in rejecting Butts’ invention for commercial development, originally called "Criss-Crosswords". However, one fan was impressed, and took matters in to his own hands. James Brunot began manufacturing his own, slightly altered version of the game, paying Butt a small royalty for every game sold. In an abandoned schoolhouse in Dodgington, Connecticut, Brunot's friends and family turned out 12 games an hour, stamping letters on wooden tiles one at a time. In 1949 the Brunots made 2,400 sets and lost $450, but by the early 1950’s they couldn’t keep up with demand and the newly renamed Scrabble sets were being rationed in stores throughout the US. The game is now sold in 121 countries in 29 different language versions and one hundred and fifty million sets have been sold worldwide.
The key to the games success is of course the carefully calibrated letter distribution. Whilst developing the game, Butts studied the front page of The New York Times and did painstaking calculations of letter frequency. Remarkably, his basic analysis of our language and his original tile distribution have remained valid for almost three generations and billions of games played.