1893 Antique Parker Brothers Game of Komikal Konversation Kards
Copyrighted in 1893 is a game by Parker Brothers called Komikal Konversation Kards. Various versions of Conversation Cards are known to have been created since the early 1800’s. Conversations was one of the first widely published card games of America. Many of the early game companies, like W.&S.B. Ives or McLoughlin Bros. produced their own types of conversation cards.
In the book American Games by Alex Malloy, a listing for Conversation Cards (big and small- published anonymous in 1810-1815) conveys the early time frame in which the cards were played. The book also contains a listing by Adams&Co. for a set of Komikal Konversation Kards published in 1856. This spelling is the same as Parker Brothers later used for their game.
The cards are a social type game. The 1893 Parker Brothers game rules are shared below. You will see how the cards were created more to offer laughs and entertainment, than to give any type of strategic style game play. The main purpose of the game was for players to simply enjoy each other’s company.
The antique game consists of Question Cards and Answer Cards. To play, these cards are divided evenly among the players; or a dealer could give all Question Cards to some players, and the others all Answer Cards. Either way, the cards remain face down in the two separate piles.
The game begins by the first player drawing a Question Card. He reads the question out loud for all to hear, and then ‘looks at’ any player he chooses to receive an Answer from. Whoever he ‘looks at’ draws an Answer card from the faced down pile, and reads the answer on the card. This is considered the answer to the question.
The directions for the game state, “Much amusement is caused by the comical character of the Questions and Answers.”
A few examples of what was thought ‘comical’ in the late 1800’s are given below.
Q-“Do you approve of young ladies riding bicycles without a chaperon?”
A possible answer- “I don’t think you have any sense to ask such a question, and I shall not answer you.”
Q- “Do six dozen equal half a dozen dozen?”
A possible answer- “I don’t understand you.”
Q-“Do you think you had rather be bitten by a dog than go to a symphony concert led by our new high school teacher?”
A possible answer- “You do make me laugh.”
Q-“If you were the cow that jumped over the moon, do you think you would enjoy chewing isinglass?”
A possible answer- “I will tell you when we are alone together.”
Q- “Do you want to tell me what you think of me?”
A possible answer- “Yes, but you should not ask me this question before the whole company.”
Q- “Do you think that pickled lamb’s feet are good for freckles?”
A possible answer- “I shan’t deign to answer your question.”
Conversation Cards were to entertain those gathering around. It can be imagined how some of the Questions, and the Answers given to them, would make people laugh. The game shares just one of the ways for enjoyment from the past.