hist-games: Freq. Asked Ques. -- Part II : B

Mark Waks justin at intermetrics.com
Mon Oct 27 08:02:53 PST 1997


David Salley wrote:
> 10.) Is the game [ X ] period?
> This week's topics:
> -------------------
>         CHINESE CHECKERS
>         Invented by Chinese immigrants working on the American railroads
>         in the Old West, circa 1860.

Could be; don't know the origins of this one...

>         CROQUET
>         Brought to Victorian England by Alice Liddell who claims she played
>         the game with members of the Royal Family in an unspecified country.
>         ;-) ;-) ;-)

Cute...

I've read somewhere a reference to Croquet being invented by a specific
doctor in a specific year in the 19th century; unfortunately, I'm 90%
certain that I don't own the book that I read that in, so I can't
provide specific cites. Anyway, I *think* croquet per se is 19th
century. However, the concept of
hitting-a-ball-on-the-ground-with-a-stick is certainly period -- Pall
Mall (and similar games in other countries) are similar, and were played
in the Renaissance.

It's worth noting that Billiards (which is late-period English) appears
to have begun life as a tabletop version of such games, with the green
felt representing the grass, the cues shaped much more like mallets, and
the holes representing hazards of the course (eg, gopher holes). The
original version of billiards had an arch and a pin on the table...

>         CRICKET
>         After the American Abner Doubleday invented baseball, the British,
>         in an insane fit of jealousy, invented Cricket and then re-wrote
>         the Encyclopedia Britannica entry to make it look as if they had
>         invented Cricket first! ;-) ;-) ;-)

Damned good question; I have a dictionary of Cricket, but it doesn't
appear to talk much about the history. (Of course, we know that Cricket
was invented by aliens, as part of a racial memory of a bitter ancient
war...)

>         DARTS
>         English in origin??

Everything I've seen seems to indicate that, wishful thinking aside,
darts as we know it is post-period. I've never seen a date of invention,
but the evidence for it being period seems to be lacking. I gather that
there was a game of "darts" in period, but it appears to have been
played on a larger scale, with much bigger darts (broken arrows, more or
less), and doesn't seem to have been wildly popular, from the scarcity
of references to it...

>         DOMINOS
>         So-so game, worse pizza.

Chinese in origin, as I recall; don't know the details...

>                                                         -- Dagonell
>                 (Who's celebrating his 6th wedding anniversary this weekend!)

Congrats!

				-- Justin
				   Dagonell's Evil Twin

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