10 Awkward Party Games From The Early 1900s

Did you ever stop to ponder what people did to engage themselves at parties with companions before stereos, TVs, and the Web? Party Fun: Wholesome Games From Around the World, a book incorporated by Helen Stevens Fisher in 1938—gives us some understanding of the universe of party games that were played in the nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Fisher records some awkward and unusual party game recommendations that were sent to her from hosts and hostesses around the globe. These 10 games highlight precisely how exhausted individuals more likely than not been to think of some of these thoughts for their dinner parties.

1. Colonial Mitten

As per Fisher, the mitten game was a most loved of George and Martha Washington when they invited people to their home. This American dinner party convention continued well into the 1930s. As soon as guests arrived at the host’s home, they were compelled to wear thick gloves. Their fingers were stuck together in thick fleece with just their opposable thumbs free. At that point, they were told to race each other by utilizing their mittened hands to finish incomprehensibly troublesome errands. They needed to button baby clothes, pick up grains of rice from the floor, and that’s just the beginning. The host was likewise urged to consider different thoughts to make the guests struggle. During dinner, guests needed to eat while wearing their gloves. The game proposed that guests ought to be served the most difficult foods to eat without the use of their fingers. Whoever fulfilled the most of their tasks the best before the night’s over was the winner.

2. Vegetable Hop

Before the guests appeared, the host or hostess of the party needed to disseminate vegetables of different sizes—”from little onions to pumpkins”— around their backyard and pick a finish line. Then the guests were let free to get and carry as many vegetables as would be prudent by hand without dropping anything, all while jumping on one foot. They couldn’t use their pockets, baskets, or anything other than their hands to hold the vegetables. On the off chance that a player failed to keep his balance while jumping on one foot, he needed to drop all of his vegetables where he stood and start all over again. Small vegetables were worth five points, the medium was worth 10 points, and bigger vegetables were worth 20 points. The game didn’t stop until the all of the vegetables were picked off the ground. Toward the finish of the game, the individual holding the vegetables totaling highest number of points won.

3. Dogs And Cats

Before guests appeared, the host or hostess took a whole deck of playing cards and concealed them around the house—below couch cushions, in drawers, within magazines, etc. Team captains were chosen to lead teams named the “Dogs” and the “Cats.” After the groups had been picked, the Dogs searched the house for black cards while the Cats looked for red. If a Dog found a black card, he or she needed to stop and woof loudly until the group captain hurried over to grab the card. At the point when a Cat found a red card, he or she needed to stop and meow loudly until his or her captain got the card. If somebody found a card of the opposing team’s color, they needed to hide it. They could shroud their opponents’ cards in much more difficult spots to make it harder on the other team. The game finished when one of the groups amassed their whole 50% of the deck.

4. Curio Party


This is an adult rendition of show-and-tell. On the invitations, party hosts told their guests to bring one of their weirdest, most valuable objects with them. At that point, the guests placed these objects on the host’s dining room table and alternated clarifying the reason for their objects, where they came from, and so on. In 1938, cars had existed for a brief time, and road trips were another wonder. It was not all that basic for individuals find out about new objects, particularly if they were gotten on vacations to various states or countries. In a period when most people living in the same area utilized a large number of same utilitarian products, having something other than what’s expected or fascinating when contrasted with your neighbors was a curiosity.

5. Sweet Spelling

The party host prepared four blocks of sugar by writing letters of the alphabet in ink on each face of the cube. Then the guests alternated tossing the four sugar cubes like dice and trusting that the letters confronting up would frame a word regardless of the excellent chances. The book suggested that the host writes a distinct letter of the alphabet on each surface of the sugar cubes, excluding J, M, Q, V, X, and Z. The individuals from the party kept on tossing the four sugar cubes onto the kitchen table until somebody spelled a word. Just like Scrabble, contestants could have a dictionary available if there was a verbal confrontation about whether a word existed. The winner got the inky, deteriorating sugar cubes as a prize.

6. Kitchen Sounds

When playing the kitchen sounds game, party guests stood in the room alongside the kitchen. However, they were not allowed to perceive what was going on. A screen or cover may even be hung a clothesline to separate everybody except the host from the kitchen. Then the host or hostess began to perform something in the kitchen that made noise—blending, shelling peanuts, cleaning the floor, chopping vegetables, etc. The guests from the party needed to listen closely and think about what those sounds were. The first member to yell the right guess would win one point. Once the host heard the right answer through the curtain, he or she proceeded onward to the next activity, moving this way until they came up short on sounds to make in the kitchen. The party guest who speculated the most kitchen sounds correctly was the winner. This probably been a most loved in the 1930s because the creator guaranteed that this game turned into a “very intense competition.”

7. Peanut Hunt

Peanut hunts were a common game amid the 1920s and ’30s. It resembled an all-ages indoor Easter egg hunt but with peanuts. Before the visitors arrived, the party host concealed peanuts all through his home—under seat cushions, inside vases, behind books, etc. Once the party started, the person who gathered the most peanuts before the finish of the party won a prize. At the point when the game was over, everybody was likewise permitted to eat their peanuts as a snack. This game was played so frequently that the author thought of a snazzy, “modern” twist called the fancy peanut hunt. This was a meticulous long procedure of tying colored ribbons to the peanuts before concealing them so that party guests could just keep the properly colored peanuts for themselves.

8. Swinging Shoe

When playing the swinging shoe contest, the party host discovered an old, unusable shoe, attached a thread to it, and stood in the backyard. Party guests were told to stand in a circle surrounding the host. Then the host started spinning the rope from the center of the circle with the shoe swinging around him or her. Remember that most shoes in the early 20th century were made of heavy leather. To abstain from being hit, the party guests needed to jump as the swinging shoe came close to their feet. In this circumstance, it would be unimaginable for the party host to hunch low and keep the shoe off the ground. It was likely that a member’s ankles or calves could get taken out by a high-speed leather boot.

9. Hobo Party

The idea of the hobo party was to have a cruel laugh at the mishap of homeless people. On the party invitation, guests were told to appear in their oldest, dirtiest clothes. The night’s festivities begun in the basement, which was enlivened with the oldest, rustiest garbage that the family could find. This was done to establish the atmosphere. The game of “hopping the freight car” invented the way that homeless men hopped onto a train as they attempted to travel the US after the Great Depression. The party host set up a line of wooden crates stacked consecutively to speak to the train. While guests were in their hobo clothing, music was played. They needed to stroll around the fanciful freight cars until the music stopped. Then they needed to bounce on top of a wooden case before their friends did. The fewer people who played the diversion, the fewer crates there were to jump on. Clearly, this is only a more risky, adult variant of musical chairs. The second feature of the hobo party was to drive guests to engage in an awkward, adult version of trick or treat. They needed to thump on the back doors of neighbors’ homes and beg for sandwiches and beer while wearing their homeless attire. Apparently, the neighbors were told ahead of time. The party guests were then compelled to eat their meals on the back stoop rather than the host’s kitchen.

10. Paper Sack Party

Upon arrival, party visitors were given paper bags with holes cut out for eyes and a mouth. Every guest was told to put a sack over his head and tie a rope or lace around his neck with the goal that his face was entirely covered. All of the guests needed to wear a large number on the front of their shirts. Every individual was likewise given a piece of paper and pencil. At that point, they must attempt to recognize which one of their friends was for each paper bag. On their papers, they would record the numbers, and the names of the people believed to go with those numbers. Whoever speculated the most identities correctly by the end of the party was the winner.

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