Lindbergh’s 1927 Flight Set Off a Mini-Craze of Board Games

“Lindy Hop-Off” and “Captain Hop Across Junior” were just two of the titles inspired by the first transatlantic solo flight.

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This Parker Brothers game features a Vickers Vimy on the "Lindy" game box and board—the aircraft in which British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Brown made their non-stop transatlantic flight in 1919. Perhaps a similar game existed before Lindbergh's solo flight in his Ryan monoplane.

When Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris in 1927, his record-setting flight turned him into an instant celebrity. The pilot’s name and face soon appeared on everything from wristwatches to ashtrays, buttons to board games, and cigarette cases to pocketknives. The National Air and Space Museum has more than 600 Lindbergh-related items in its Social and Cultural collection; here are just a few of the games produced after the aviator’s historic flight.

Inside this metal box is a grid showing the route from New York to Paris. As the player tilts the box, three "fliers" (red, white, or blue capsules) representing Richard Byrd, Charles Lindbergh, and Clarence Chamberlin attempt to make it first to Paris.
Players move the wooden puzzle pieces until the airplane block is in the lower right-hand corner marked "Paris."
Players spin an aircraft propeller to advance their metal airplane markers a certain number of spaces. Landing on a red space sends the player back, thwarting their attempts to reach Paris first.
This game consists of 132 numbered spaces arranged in a winding path that begins and ends in the center of the board. The large squares feature prominent points of Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic—but nowhere on the board is the word "Lindbergh" written.
In this coin-operated game, players insert a penny and depress the lever, sending the airplane as far on its vertical path as possible. Those players with strong fingers can "fly" all the way to Germany—a 4,000-mile trip. Along the left side of the game are possible "occupations." Winners will be Lucky Lindy, of course, while losers will be...cowboys. In this game, a "tramp" and a "dunce" rate higher than those at Home on the Range.
The directions for this game note, "Each line is a point on the course. When Propeller stops on Numeral move number of points indicated. If Flier hits Bad Weather or Engine Trouble at start, He keeps Plane at New York and tries again after rest of Fliers have spun. If your Airplane sinks place on circle marked 'Sunk'."
After players spin the red arm, they land on various-size spaces with different odds. The odds of landing in New York are 10 to 1, while Los Angeles is 3 to 1.
Up to three players place their white chips on the bottom circles of the scoreboard. As they draw a swinging magnet back, if their aim is correct, the magnet will pick up the airplane and move it forward. The player who enters the top circle first wins.

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