Today is the birthday of Alfred M. Butts, the man who invented the game Scrabble.
Butts was born on this day in 1899, in Poughkeepsie, New York. He trademarked the game in 1949, but his game didn’t sell very well. Only a few thousand copies of the game were sold, until 1950s when the president of Macy’s played the game on vacation and got hooked. He ordered more for his store, and Scrabble became a great success.
Scrabble has been a favorite of many writers, including the novelist Vladimir Nabokov, who had a special Russian version made for himself and his wife.