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Collection of John J. Fox Parker Brothers oral histories

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 1986.parker
The Collection of John J. Fox Parker Brother oral histories contains 14 original audiocassette recordings from 1986, associated paper materials from Fox, and digitized audio recordings and transcripts created by staff members at The Strong. [The transcripts and associated .mp3 audio files are currently available online via Preservica-Universal Access.]


  • 1986 - 2020
  • Majority of material found in 1986



1 Linear Feet (1 box of audiocassettes, 1 accordion folder of related paper materials)

680 Megabytes (Digitized audio files and transcripts)

Historical Note

In 1986, Professor John J. Fox of Salem State College (now Salem State University) embarked on a project to interview various former and current employees of Parker Brothers, which had been such a presence in that region of Massachusetts. He met with nine people: a worker who knew George S. Parker during the 1910s, a skilled jigsaw cutter for Parker’s famous Pastime Puzzles of the 1920s and 1930s, company executives with decades of experience, and of course, those who remembered the happy chaos when Monopoly became a big hit. Among Fox’s interviewees were Channing “Bill” Bacall, grand-nephew of G.S. Parker; Robert B. M. Barton, son-in-law of G. S. Parker; Randolph “Ranny” Barton, Robert’s son and G. S. Parker’s grandson; George Fox, an executive who was still working at Parker Brothers in 1986; Angie Gagnon, who cut jigsaw puzzles for more than 30 years; Harry Manning, who worked at Parker Brothers in 1915; Helen Mitchell, former secretary of G. S. Parker; Henry Sullivan, Traffic Manager at Parker Brothers for 40 years; and Louis Vanne, who retired after 47 years at the company.

Their recollections proved fascinating and helped Fox to supplement his traditional records-based research in the Parker Brothers archives. Fox published the article “Parker Pride: Memories of Working Days at Parker Brothers” in the April 1987 issue of Essex Institute Historical Collections. Fox later made and distributed copies of the audiocassette recordings from his interviews, signing letters of transfer for these audiocassette recordings to be made public for research purposes.

Custodial History

This collection was donated to The Strong by Anne D. Williams of the AGPI (now, AGPC), c. 2010. These cassettes were previously located in the library stacks with game rules and trade catalogs donated by the AGPC. A letter of transfer was included from John J. Fox to permit reproduction and educational use.

Related Materials

Duplicates of these audiocassettes are located in the Philip E. Orbanes papers.



Repository Details

Part of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong Repository

The Strong
One Manhattan Square
Rochester NY 14607 USA
585.423.1886 (Fax)