Scrabble Day takes place annually on 13 April. It Commemorates the anniversary of the birth of American architect, And Scrabble inventor Alfred Butts, who was born, 13 April 1899 in Poughkeepsie, New York. His parents were Allison Butts and Arrie Elizabeth Mosher, His father was a lawyer, and his mother was a high school teacher. Alfred attended Poughkeepsie High School and graduated in 1917. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania from where he graduated with a degree in architecture in 1924. He was also an amateur artist, and six of his drawings were acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
He began working as an Architect until finding himself unemployed In the early 1930s Whereupon he set out to design a board game. He began by studying existing games and found that games fell into three categories: number games such as dice and bingo; move games such as chess and checkers; and word games such as anagrams. Butts was a resident of Jackson Heights, New York, when he decided to create a game that utilized both chance and skill by combining elements of anagrams and crossword puzzles, a popular pastime of the 1920s. Players would draw seven lettered tiles from a pool and then attempt to form words from their seven letters. A key to the game was Butts’ analysis of the English language. Butts studied the front page of The New York Times to calculate how frequently each letter of the alphabet was used. He then used each letter’s frequency to determine how many of each letter he would include in the game. He included only four “S” tiles so that the ability to make words plural would not make the game too easy.
Butts initially called the game “Lexiko”, but later changed the name to “Criss Cross Words”, and began to look for a buyer. The game makers he originally contacted rejected the idea, but Butts was tenacious. Eventually, he sold the rights to entrepreneur and game-lover James Brunot, who made a few minor adjustments to the design and renamed the game “Scrabble.”
In 1948, the game was trademarked and James Brunot and his wife converted an abandoned schoolhouse in Dodgingtown, Connecticut, into a Scrabble factory. In 1949, the Brunots made 2,400 sets, but lost $450. The game, however, steadily gained popularity, helped along by orders from Macy’s department store. By 1952, the Brunots could no longer keep up with demand and asked licensed game maker Selchow and Righter to market and distribute the game. So far at least One hundred and fifty million sets have been sold worldwide and between one and two million sets are sold each year in North America alone. To Commemorate Butts Contribution to board games There is a street sign at 35th Avenue and 81st Street in Jackson Heights that is stylized using letters, with their values in Scrabble as a subscript.