The Game of Peter Coddles Trip
Although listed and played as a game, Peter Coddles Trip by Milton Bradley (first produced by Mcloughlin Brothers), might be best described as ‘story time with friends’ since the main feature of the game is to create an amusing story together.
This style of game, or group entertainment, was quite popular in the early 1900’s, as there are multiple versions to be collected and found during that time. It’s apparent, through these versions, Peter Coddles traveled much and to a few different places. These travels also inspired others, and their ‘games’, like ‘O’Grady’s Goat’ and ‘Tommy Tenderfoot’s Western Trip’.
The game of Peter Coddles comes in a small box which consists only of a booklet and cards inside. The booklet contains instructions, and a story about Peter Coddles, a country bumpkin, going on a trip to the city of New York. This story includes ‘blank spaces’, which are to be filled in by players who have been dealt the small cards of the games.
To play the game, one player is selected to be the narrator of the story. He then distributes all the cards in the box evenly amongst other players. The players put these cards in a pile, face down, and as the Narrator pauses at each ‘blank space’ of the story, players take turns to read the top card from their piles.
For instance, one of the sentences in the first paragraph states, “Rest, quiet town, till I return rich enough to buy (_), (_), and (_), and settle down with Betsy to enjoy my good fortune.”
The Narrator would read this sentence and pause at each (_). Taking turns, each player would turn over one of his cards and read what it says in this blank space. No one knows what the card will say.
It could say, “Rest, quiet town, till I return rich enough to buy (a white owl), (a Greek costume), and (a glass eye), and settle down with Betsy to enjoy my good fortune.” The blank spaces were filled by cards from the box.
The humorous story created by picking random cards would certainly have players laugh at the story being formed and told by all.
This simple type of play offered family and friends a time to get together, relax, and have fun after a long day of work of the 1900’s. The game may seem a bit plain, but any time people can gather to laugh and enjoy a good evening together is wonderful. It’s nice to have these reminders of play, and pieces of history, on the shelf.
Play a game, any game, today!