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American Board and Table Games: The Liman Collection Gift

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The games that entertained Americans from the 1840s to the 1920s offer a fascinating window on the values, beliefs and aspirations of a nation undergoing tremendous change. During this period the American home, no longer the heart of economic production, became the center of education, entertainment, and moral enlightenment. Middle-class families—with expanded leisure time as well as rising income levels—embraced leisure pursuits in the home and encouraged their children to play games that would develop skills and provide moral instruction. During the same period, advances in chromolithography made possible bold, richly colored games at affordable prices. New York City emerged as the leading center of American chromolithography and the hub of the nation’s vigorous board game industry. These games are among the more than 500 examples donated to the New-York Historical Society by Ellen Liman in 2000. Many of these games are currently on display in the DiMenna Children's History Museum. 

Creative: Tronvig Group