Three shifts at the Scrabble factory
January 4, 2020 9:11 AM   Subscribe

For 20 years the wooden pieces for every Scrabble set in North America were manufactured in Fairfax, Vermont. This is Part 1 of a three-part series that explores the factory’s history through the stories of the people who shaped its fortunes. Read Part 2 and Part 3.
posted by Mrs Potato (9 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you for posting this. I had no clue that Scrabble tiles were once made in Vermont. My deluxe set likely was made here based on the time frame and that makes me happy.

When turtlegirl and I moved to Vermont in 2005 we considered Fairfax as an option. It was quaint and a short drive to Burlington. We ended up in Tunbridge but I really liked Fairfax.
posted by terrapin at 10:15 AM on January 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

What a fascinating story! There are so many interesting tidbits of info in all 3 parts. Thanks for sharing!
posted by Sparky Buttons at 11:32 AM on January 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

That was really interesting.
posted by COD at 1:47 PM on January 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

It's posts like this that I come to MetaFilter for. A topic I never knew existed that is entirely fascinating. Thanks so much for posting!
posted by hippybear at 2:41 PM on January 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

What an odd legacy.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:03 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

This is great, thank you for posting.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:03 PM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the post, Mrs Potato! How interesting and an elucidating view of the consequences of having the company bought and sold; outsourcing-the ultimate blow. I loved a comment one of the local people made, "I remember visiting dairy barns that used shavings from the scrabble plant for bedding. You could often find whole tiles."
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:10 AM on January 5, 2020 [3 favorites]

Last year I wrote a book on the history of boardgames, and included Butts and a brief history of Scrabble (including the tidbit I discovered that in the US the standard Scrabble sets had wooden tiles and the deluxe ones had plastic, but in Europe it was the other way around), but when you're covering eight thousand years of history in forty thousand words there's only so much detail you can include. These pieces are delightful, putting so many human faces on what would otherwise be a series of dry business decisions.
posted by Hogshead at 5:28 AM on January 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

I usually drive through Fairfax 2 or 3 times a year. It would be nice to visit the place if it were still a Scrabble factory.
posted by MtDewd at 3:42 PM on January 8, 2020

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