Pike’s Peak or Bust: 1895 Old Parker Brothers Game
The cover of the 1895 Parker Brothers game of Pike’s Peak or Bust shows a gentleman standing on a peak of a mountain. He waves a flag and is displaying excitement for his achievement. It’s a cute scene. There are other climbers below him with captions beside them saying, “Can’t get any further”, “O My”, “Look Out!” and “We know how”. Also on the cover is written the following rhyme:
It can be done
It’s lots of fun
You’ll say so when
You’ve once begun
The rhyme is referring to a player attempting to climb to the top of Pikes Peak. Inside the box is a puzzling array of pins for one person’s play. He is challenged to reach the top by way of using the Metal Traveler! It can be done….but is difficult.
Today, Pikes Peak is known as the highest peak of any other summit east of its longitude. It was named in recognition of Zebulon Pike who was one of the first American explorers to see the mountain in 1806. Although Pike was unable to reach the peak on this expedition, 14 years later in 1820, Edwin James reached the mountain’s summit and climbers have been doing so ever since.
The name of the game seems to relate to the popular slogan of the Colorado Gold Rush of 1858. This motto was the same as the game’s title, ‘Pike’s Peak or Bust’. During the gold rush, Pike’s Peak was the guiding landmark for prospectors to travel towards on their journey. The actual discovery of gold was to the North of Pike’s Peak, but the mountain was the beckoning light for travelers across the plains in search for gold.
The game is an entertaining, albeit frustrating, game for one. Small Pins are strategically positioned on an image of the mountain. This is the board. The starting Pin is marked BASE, and the Game’s Goal Pin, obviously at the Peak, is marked TOP. A player’s objective is to reach the TOP by spanning his Metal Traveler from Pin to Pin.
Attached to the ‘board’ is a Metal Traveler on a string. This Traveler has rings on each side that are used to encircle the Pins on the board (shown right). Starting from the BASE, a player positions his Traveler and encircles another Pin with the other end of his Traveler in order to move and climb to the summit.
The Traveler spans easily to any pin, from pin to pin. Even though some pins are a near reach, if it is not exact, it is not correct. A player does not need to force any Traveler span to move.
It says it can be done. At first it seems easy, but as play begins a player quickly realizes the climb to the Top might take some time and energy. But of course, all great achievements should.
So have fun and enjoy a game today!