We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sepia Saturday #115 Popping the Question

Oops. Please don't read this post. I posted it by mistake. 

Let's pretend that the gentleman above is popping the question to this lovely supine lady who actually looks more drugged than wanting a marriage proposal. But since he's all dressed up and even has a boutonniere, he'll persist because he's really ready for marriage.

During this period, a game was played in many parlors across the U.S. that mimic this man's intentions. The game was called "How Silas Popped The Question."

I can just picture the young people of that time sitting around their parlors in great gales of hilarity playing this card game. Wow, how humor has changed over the years. I purchased one of these games in an antique store (I have a large collection of turn of the century games, so you can imagine my delight when this week's theme was announced).

The object of the game (kind of an early version of Mad Libs) was to use the cards with printed phrases  to insert in a story that's included in the game. Rules state that the winner is the person who laughs loudest!

Here's some examples of the phrases:

And here's the first page of a 7 page booklet:

I wonder how many actual proposals were spawned by this game. And speaking of proposals, haven't they become a little way too spectacular? I feel sorry for men who have to think up bigger and better ways to propose to their intended. In front of millions at some televised sporting event, with a special billboard, a banner flying behind an airplane, standing atop a high mountain. Geesh. how many ways are there to propose?

I looked at lots of proposals on youtube and this one really was the most original. To be proposed to by a hyena???

I don't know how I got from Silas popping the question to a hyena popping the question, but I guess it's all related. A wonderful example of proposals then and now and how times have changed. It's all really a big game, isn't it?

See more game stories by clicking here: Sepia Saturday


  1. Great post! Seems the young guys now have to got to extreme measures even when inviting a girl to the prom. I had no idea marriage proposals had become so elaborate.

    Gotta go, I'm feeling bilious and my Grand Dad's toe needs attention.

  2. This post was a hoot! I'm sure I would have won the game for laughing the loudest over that "bilious" remark.

  3. Nancy such a hilarious game,perhaps it comes into fashion again! People had to entertain themselves and games like this must have been a lot of fun. I am just wondering about the questions and answers.

  4. That's a game I've never heard of in the UK. Must have been a hoot to play, much more fun than Monopoly.

  5. Your First Image Looks Like An Early Example Of Date-Rape.Damn Those Drugs!

  6. I love the packaging on old games. I wonder how they measured the loudness of the laughter to determine the winner.

    Since it is Leap Year, the game could be called "How Sally Popped the Question."

  7. Absolutely!...and the more games we play the happier we can be...an outstanding cool video too...great beat!....and the crowd sure loved hearing him pop the question! I too am fond of learning about all the old Victorian parlour games! Great opening to your post too!

  8. Was there a laughometer included? What an elaborate game, I love the way the instructions are written. I had to look up what spit curls were, obviously all the rage when this game was made.

  9. Oh do I remember spit curls. This was a great fun post. Parlor games for sure. Never heard of that one. Loved the video.

  10. Wow, way cool! I would love to see a picture of all of your games sometime. Thanks for this great post, and I agree about how some guys feel that they need to go overboard.

    Happy Sepia Saturday!

    Kathy M.

  11. Wonderful post Nancy. That's a very unusual game, and one wonders how the laughter was gauged! I always feel slightly uncomfortable with these very public proposals....what if the poor girl wanted to say 'NO'? That hyena must have felt very sure of himself.

  12. These early game makers had such a great imagination. They helped change the mores of society by introducing new joke forms like the double entendre.

  13. How very interesting, I never heard of such a game. I think my husband just said something like, "Hey, you wanna get hitched or what?"

  14. While the guy looks like a predator in the first pic, the proposal in the :lion king" gave me a runny nose and teary eyes...

    I guess some know how to play the game!!