Chinese Checkers

Dorri Partain
Northeast News

Despite the name, Chinese Checkers is truly an international game. The concept of a board game where players use markers to move from one side to the other- and jump over their opponent’s game pieces dates to a British game called “Hoppity,” first manufactured in 1854. George H. Monks, a thoracic surgeon at Harvard Medical School, brought the game to America in 1883, but changed the name to “Halma,” the Greek word for “jump”. The board was set for two players, and used small wooden pawns that moved in a square pattern.

A German game company, Ravensburger, modified the game and named it Stern-Halma in 1892. Changing the shape of the game board to a six-pointed star (stern) meant the game could be more versatile, with 2-6 players. Meanwhile the original version of Halma remained popular, though game manufacturer Milton Bradley called their version Eckha.

In 1928, brothers Bill and Jack Pressman, operators of the Pressman Toy Company, took the star-shaped playing board, but perforated it so the game could be played with marbles. One of their company’s products was marbles, so it was easy to expand their product line by creating a new game called “Hop Ching Checkers”. Anything with an Asian theme sold well at the time, due in part to the Mah Jong craze that swept America during that decade.

Other companies copied the game; the Parker Brothers version was named “Peg Chow”. The Pressmans never patented the name or the game so when Milton Bradley applied for a patent in 1941, the name they chose was “Chinese Checkers”.

The Pressman Company still offers Chinese Checkers, but their most popular offering is another game they created, RummiKub. Parker Brothers was the last company to market Halma in America, in 1961.

Comments are closed.

  • Homemade Girl Scout Cookies

    February 13th, 2019

    Dorri Partain Northeast News America’s largest cookie sale began with one Girl Scout troop in 1917. The “Mistletoe” troop of […]

    A Postcard from your Valentine

    February 6th, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Around 200 A.D., the Roman Emperor Claudius was busy conquering various parts of Europe and Asia, […]

    No better view west of the Hudson

    January 30th, 2019

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Built in 1906-07 by the Swenson Construction Company at a cost of $15,000, the stone-arched 15th […]

    Vending machines

    January 30th, 2019

    Dorri Partain Northeast News Vending machines made to dispense canned soda became more popular once the ring pull-tab for easy […]

    Baby Bottle Warmer

    January 26th, 2019

    Dorri Partain Northeast News No need to stay home when it’s time to feed the baby. Baby bottle warmers hit […]

  • Safety Razor

    January 25th, 2019

    Dorri Partain Northeast News When King Camp Gillette conceptualized an extremely thin, sharp blade for shaving, he wasn’t aiming for […]

    The Fountain Pen

    January 24th, 2019

    Dorri Partain Northeast News For centuries, books, documents, and letters were written with a simple quill pen that was dipped […]

    Bronzed Baby Shoes

    January 22nd, 2019

    Dorri Partain Northeast News Preserving baby’s first shoes was an uncommon practice until Violet Shinbach, mother of two, saw a […]

  • What’s Happening

    Two Kansas City women have been arrested, charged in connection with Tuesday’s shooting at Central High School

    Jamya D. Norfleet and Taylor McMillon face felony charges in connection with Tuesday night's shooting.

    15-year-old victim in shooting at Central Academy of Excellence has been identified

    The victim in Tuesday night's shooting outside Central Academy of Excellence has been identified as An'Janique Wright, 15. 

    Shop the International Marketplace this Valentine’s Day

    Still need a gift? Shop the International Marketplace for your Valentine!