Twoop > Games > Board Games

Scrabble Timeline

Early 1930s

Unemployed architect Alfred Mosher Butts decides to create a board game. He comes up with a game that combines both chance and skill. Players draw seven lettered tiles from a pool of tiles and then create words using the seven letters. Butts studies the New York Times front page in order to calculate how frequently each letter of the alphabet is used. He then uses his findings to determine how many of each letter should be included in the game. He calls the game "Lexico" then changes it to "Criss Cross Words."


The game is trademarked as SCRABBLE® Brand Crossword Game. The word "scrabble" means "to grope frantically."


The Brunots make 2,400 SCRABBLE sets. They lose $450.

Early 1950s

Legend has it that the president of MACY'S discovers the game of SCRABBLE while on vacation and orders it for his store. It soon becomes "the" game everyone has to have.


The Brunots bring in game manufacturer Selchow & Righter Company to market and distribute the game in the United States and Canada.


Selchow & Righter purchases the trademark from Brunot.


The National SCRABBLE Association (NSA) is founded. It is the official organization of of North America's tournament SCRABBLE players.

May 19-21, 1978

The first North American Invitational SCRABBLE Players Tournament is held in New York City. 65 players compete for $8400 in prizes.


COLECO Industries purchases Selchow & Righter.


COLECO goes bankrupt. Hasbro, Inc., which had already purchased the Milton Bradley Company in 1984, acquires COLECO and the rights to Scrabble.

April 1993

Alfred Mosher Butts dies at the age of 93.


The World SCRABBLE Championship is held in Washington, D.C.


In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the SCRABBLE trademark, a special commemorative edition is released.

April 26, 2003

The first annual National School SCRABBLE Championship is held in Boston.

August 20-24, 2005

The National SCRABBLE Championship is held in Reno, Nevada.

If you believe any information on to be inaccurate, please let us know. Images: All images published on the site are believed to be in the public domain. To report an image published on our site that is not in the public domain or does not fall under fair use, please send an email to editor (AT)

Copyright © 2007-2008 All rights reserved.