Philip E. Orbanes papers
The Philip E. Orbanes papers are arranged into nine series, three of which are further divided into subseries. The collection is housed in 21 archival document boxes. Digital video comprises one series, located on the internal network of The Strong.
- 1905 - 2013
- Majority of material found within 1967 - 2006
- Orbanes, Philip E. (Designer, Person)
Conditions Governing Access and Use
12 Linear Feet (21 boxes)
Orbanes joined Ideal Toy Corporation in 1976 as director of its games division. His initiative and acumen soon led him to Massachusetts-based Parker Brothers, where he became director of new product research in 1979. Parker Brothers named Orbanes vice president of product development in 1980, then senior vice president of research and development in 1985. During his time at Parker Brothers, Orbanes developed a reputation as an authority on the game Monopoly, serving as a chief judge at U.S. and world Monopoly tournaments. In 1990, Orbanes left Parker Brothers to establish his own consulting business. Along with three other seasoned game industry professionals, he launched another game company, Winning Moves Games, in 1995. Winning Moves, located in Danvers, Massachusetts, frequently produced classic card and board games licensed from companies such as Hasbro, Inc., the owner of Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley games. As of 2013, Orbanes serves as vice chairman of Winning Moves, following his lengthy tenure as president of the company.
In 1988, with the permission of Parker Brothers, Orbanes authored The Monopoly Companion. This book explained the oft-contended origins of the game, its colorful history, and strategies for players. He also continued to acquire his own personal collection of rare and unique versions of Monopoly, many of which appeared in subsequent books. The March 2002 issue of the Harvard Business Review published an article by Orbanes called “Everything I Know about Business I Learned from Monopoly,” prompting his renewed research on the history of Parker Brothers. He conducted interviews with members of the Parker family and former Parker Brothers employees, and gained access to George S. Parker’s personal archives. The resulting book, The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit (2004), traced Parker Brothers from its 1883 inception through the start of the 21st century. He followed with Monopoly: The World’s Most Famous Game–And How It Got That Way (2006) and Monopoly, Money, and You: How to Profit from the Game’s Secrets of Success (2013).
System of Arrangement
Series I: Personal and business correspondence, 1960-1994
Series II: Contracts and agreements, 1968-1979
Series III: Game designs and instructions, 1936-1994
Subseries A: Orbanes-created games
Subseries B: Other designer-created games
Subseries C: Published instructions/game materials
Series IV: Toy and game reference materials, 1935-1990
Subseries A: News articles
Subseries B: Magazines
Subseries C: Toy and game company sales brochures/catalogs
Subseries D: Toy and game industry newsletters
Subseries E: Other publications
Series V: Orbanes’ research files, 1905-2012
Subseries A: Parker Brothers company history1.Name/subject files2.News articles3.Advertising
Subseries B: George S. Parker
Subseries C: Monopoly1. Name/subject files2. Variations of Monopoly3. Publications4. Anti-Monopoly trial transcripts
Series VI: Photographs, 1970s
Series VII: Audio, 1958-1991
Series VIII: Parker Brothers reference binders, 1979, 1982
Series IX: Video oral history, 2013
- Anspach, Ralph (Writer of accompanying material) -- Trials, litigation, etc.
- Baer, Ralph H.
- Board game industry
- Board game industry -- United States -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.
- Board game industry -- United States.
- Board games -- Design and construction.
- Board games -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
- Darrow, Charles (Designer)
- Dunnigan, James F. (Jim) (Designer)
- Electronic games -- History
- Electronic games industry -- United States
- Game design and development
- Games -- Research.
- Gamescience Corporation
- Gamut of Games
- Ideal Toy Corporation
- Infinity Quest Corporation
- Landlord's Game
- Monopoly (Game)
- Monopoly (Game) -- History.
- National Toy Hall of Fame inductee
- Operation Design Corporation
- Orbanes, Philip
- Parker Brothers, inc.
- Parker, George Swinnerton (Owner)
- Phillips, Elizabeth Magie (Designer)
- Sackson, Sid (Designer) -- Correspondence
- Winning Moves Games, Inc.
- Finding Aid to the Philip E. Orbanes Papers, 1905-2013
- Julia Novakovic
- 26 June 2013
- Description rules
- Language of description
Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA