Early Monopoly players in the 1920s and 1930s had to make their own sets, and often used play money that was available from dime stores of the era. Certain types of these bills are rarely found today, and present a challenge for the serious Monopoly collector who wants the same kind of experience the early players had.
Now, Folkopoly Press meets that need with a new set of 1930s-style play money, inspired by various early designs. To create this set was a real challenge, and involved a considerable amount of work.
First of all, we had to find examples of some of these rare original bills. I found $1 and $1000 denominations of one type and scanned these bills. Unfortunately, these were not necessarily printed all that well themselves and the images have various flaws, especially after more than 80 years’ time. Not much is known about the Dominion Printing Company of New York.
One problem is these designs were hand-drawn and did not really involve the use of particular fonts. Thus, there is not a great deal of consistency in the style and shape of particular numbers and letters. Therefore, we decided to use the background image from the original bills, with modern fonts that would give a similar appearance to the originals.
We cleaned up the scanned images in Photoshop, a very time-consuming process which took around 12 hours. Essentially, this involved magnifying the scanned image to practically the pixel level and filling in all the imperfections, while eliminating other things that should not be there.
The result is a background image for these bills which is both historically accurate, and of a better than new quality. The font we chose, we feel, captures the look and spirit of the original bills quite well.
Finally, while the background image is black on all bills, we gave each denomination its own color, as far as the numbers were concerned. The results are very attractive and speak for themselves.
These bills can be used with some of our reproduction Oilcloth and Tie Box sets. It is similar to the types of bills used with the original Darrow Round Board, the very first one made by Charles Darrow. This predates the various types of Darrow scrip, including Types 0, 1 and 2.
We are offering complete sets of these bills, which measure approximately 2 5/8″ by 5 3/4″ which is close to the same size as the originals.
A complete set consists of:
$1 x 48
$5 x 42
$10 x 36
$20 x 30
$50 x 24
$100 x 18
$500 x 6
$1000 x 6
A total of $13,218 (210 bills in all) which is plenty enough to play Monopoly as well as other similar games.
-Clarence B. Darwin
Reproduction 1930s-Style Play Money Set
Price: $19.99 with free shipping within the United States.
PS- For shipping outside the US, drop us a line at: