All those trust-destroying family feuds and/or hours of wholesome fun playing this game? You have Lizzie Magie, also from Illinois, to thank for that. In 1904, Magie’s invention, ‘The Landlord’s Game’, was released as a critique of capitalism, which makes it bitterly ironic that Charles Darrow ripped it off 30 years later and sold it to the Parker Brothers. Magie was eventually paid $500.

Monopoly is found in...