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Fascinating facts about the invention of
Clue Board Game
by Anthony E. Pratt in 1944.
CLUEŽ Board Game
Invention: Clue in 1944
Clue board game photo courtesy Hasbro
Function: noun / Trademark
Definition: The classic whodunit board game! Poor Mr. Buddy's been murdered in his own stately home! Who could have done it? And how? And where? With six suspects, six possible murder weapons and nine rooms in the mansion, there are hundreds of possibilities, and plenty of clues to investigate!
Patent: GB586817 UK issued 1947
Inventor: Anthony Ernest Pratt
Criteria: First to invent. First to patent. Modern prototype.
Birth: 1904
Death: 1994 near Birmingham England
Nationality: British
1944 Anthony E. Pratt invents Cluedo and files for patent.
1947 Patent awarded to Mr. Pratt. Sell rights to Waddington's Games.
1949 Waddington's Games markets Cluedo game.
1949 Parker Brothers buys U.S. rights to game and renames it Clue.
Clue, clue, cluedo, game, board game, Anthony Pratt, invention, history, Waddington's Games, Parker Brothers, inventor, biography.
Mr. Anthony E. Pratt, invented the classic "who dunnit" game, CLUEŽ. Mr. Pratt, who described himself as "an introvert full of ruminations, speculations and imaginative notions", came up with the idea for the murder game in 1944. To their neighbors, Anthony E. Pratt and his wife appeared to be an unassuming couple similar to hundreds of other elderly people who had chosen to retire to the south coast near Bournemouth, England. What few realized was that Mr. and Mrs. Pratt were specialists in savage murder and dark deeds.

After many years of perfecting the mechanics of the game and filing a provisional specification (12/1/1944) at the Patent Office, Mr. and Mrs. Pratt visited Waddington's Games in Leeds, England to discuss the possibilities for its manufacture. They were accompanied to the meeting by their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Bull, who had already invented a successful game called Buccaneer.

Waddington's personnel played the first game with the Pratt's and the Bull's in the office of the Managing Director, Norman Watson. Mr. Watson immediately recognized CLUEŽ as a winner. Due to post-war shortages of various materials, there were some delays before the game was finally launched in 1949.

Parker Brothers obtained the U.S. rights to the CLUEŽ game from Waddington's in 1949 and has successfully marketed the game ever since. The CLUEŽ game has become one of America's favorite classic board games.

CLUEŽ is today sold in over 40 countries from Brazil to Sweden, New Zealand to Abu Dhabi. In England, the game is called "CLUEDO", in Brazil, "Detective". The same successful formula works when translated into any language.


History of Toys and Games   from The Great Idea Finder


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Although it may seem to outsiders like a playful pursuit, manufacturing and marketing toys is not all fun and games. Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies That Make Them, by journalist and novelist G. Wayne Miller, reveals the realities of the business and the people behind it.

Parker Brothers ClueŽ Game History
See how Hasbro has adapted their games to entertain over eight generations of kids.

Patent Information
Official application contains game description, board drawings, and claims. From the European Patent Office records.
Clue Fan Site
This site is a collection of eveything in the world to do with the classic detective board game
Cluedo or Clue.
How to Play Live Clue
This site was developed as part of a presentation for the Ohio Library Council Northeast Chapter Conference
Final Clue mystery solved; it wasn't Miss Scarlet or Colonel Mustard
Instead, the man who made mayhem into a children's game died peacefully of natural causes in a nursing home. Article by Robert McG. Thomas Jr.
But when this classic game was created in England, it was called "Cluedo", taking off what the Britons called LUDO (pronounced "lew-doh"), which simply means "I play" in Latin. So when Waddingtons Games Ltd., agreed to produce Anthony Pratt's new board game, they made a play on words: "LUDO" became "CLUEDO". And in more than 40 countries around the world, it's known either as CLUEDO or by the American CLUE name.


  • One mystery remains unsolved! While millions have discovered who committed the murder, where and with what weapon, nobody knows why the unfortunate Mr. Boddy was killed.
  • In more than 40 countries around the world, it's known either as CLUEDO or by the American CLUE name.
ClueŽ is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised November 13, 2006.

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