February 18th, 2010 10:26 PM
Monopoly. The rest of the story....
Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape...
Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses' where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.
Paper maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.
Someone in MI-5 (similar to America 's OSS ) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.
At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John
Waddington, Ltd. When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.
By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and
pastimes' was a category of item qualified for insertion into 'CARE packages', dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of
Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of
sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.
As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add:
1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass;
2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together;
3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!
British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set -- by
means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.
Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war.
The story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.
It's always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail' Free' card!
Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.
February 18th, 2010 10:34 PM
That's amazing! Now I want to play Monopoly... Thank you, Bumper.
Duty, Honor, Country...MEDIC
¡Cuánto duele crecer, cuan hondo es el dolor de alzarse en puntillas y observar con temblores de angustia, esa cosa tremenda, que es la vida del hombre! - René Marqués
February 18th, 2010 10:46 PM
February 18th, 2010 11:01 PM
For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the son of man be. Mathew 24:27
February 18th, 2010 11:31 PM
NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
nor the arrow for its swiftness,
nor the warrior for his glory.
I love only that which they defend.
February 19th, 2010 12:21 AM
Being the skeptical sort, I had to look it up... check this out!
Escape Maps of World War II
Very interesting. Goes to show the breadth of human ingenuity in fighting for freedom.
February 19th, 2010 12:35 AM
Darnit mine doesn't have any large denomination real currency
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
February 19th, 2010 02:43 AM
Has anyone ever found a Monopoly game containg the red dot? I would bet that someone has one and the value SKYROCKETED!! Would be interesting to see.
February 19th, 2010 08:56 AM
Great read, I enjoyed it.
"He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson
February 24th, 2010 01:26 PM
I've attached a photo of a silk map I have. Supposedly it is a never-issued, found in surplus, silk map leftover from WWII.
Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.
February 24th, 2010 03:51 PM
February 24th, 2010 04:39 PM
Thats real cool, going to have to subscribe to this for later read.
When life gives you lemons, Open a lemonaid buisness.
February 24th, 2010 05:01 PM
Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended
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