Bulls and Bears: The Great Wall Street Game

Object Number: 
2000.728
Date: 
1883
Medium: 
Cardboard, wood
Dimensions: 
Open (board): 14 in. × 22 in. × 1/8 in. (35.6 × 55.9 × 0.3 cm) Container (box): 15 1/2 × 12 × 2 in. (39.4 × 30.5
Marks: 
lithographed: on box cover: "BULLS AND BEARS/ the GREAT/ WALL/ ST./ GAME/ PATENTED/ 1883/ McLOUGHLIN BROS NEW-YORK" lithographed: board label: "Color Game/ Bulls and Bears." lithographed: inscriptions on board: "RISE/ FALL/ RISE/ FALL/ RISE/ FALL/ RISE
Description: 
Board game with box, board, instructions, playing cards, paper money, eighteen wooden playing pieces, and one spinner; box with lithographed image of a bull and a bear dressed as gentlemen carrying canes in front of a bank; box cover inscribed, "BULLS AND BEARS/ the GREAT/ WALL/ ST./ GAME/ PATENTED/ 1883/ McLOUGHLIN BROS NEW-YORK;" rectangular board (folds in three) with blue and red spaces marked "RISE" and "FALL" in a semi-circle above the names of eight stocks and commodities with an image of a bull and a bear shearing a sheep at the top, images of brokers reading stock tape in the bottom corners, and brokers with a bull and a bear in the top corners; labels on outside of board inscribed, "Color Game/ Bulls and Bears.;" 175 playing cards, star-shaped spinner and eighteen natural wooden playing pieces.
Gallery Label: 
The financial panic of 1873, the worst before 1929, inspired this board game, in which the Bulls and the Bears - the speculators - are depicted fleecing the sheep - the public. The gameboard imagery is derived from cartoons by Joseph Keppler and Frederick Burr Opper satirizing robber barons Jay Gould, W.H. Vanderbilt, and Russell Sage, which appeared in the illustrated weekly magazine "Puck." This is one of the rarest of all nineteenth century American board games.
Bibliography: 
Hofer, Margaret K. "The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board & Table Games." New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2003.
Credit Line: 
The Liman Collection
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group