(Before we had television and video games to fill our time, domino games was a popular past time among men and boys of all ages, nationalities and economic situations throughout America as can be seen by the following photographs from the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.)
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The earliest mention of the game of dominoes is from the Song Dynasty in China. It was found in the text Former Events in Wulin.1 The game made its way to Europe by the 18th century and is popular around the world today.
Playing dominoes or cards in front of drug store in center of town in Mississippi Delta, Mississippi Oct. 1939 photographer Marion Post Wolcott
Playing dominoes in the slum area known as “El Machuelitto” in Ponce, Puerto Rico photographer Jack Delano Dec. 1941
Vaughn, New Mexico. Railroad men playing dominoes in the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad yard reading room – photographer Jack Delano March 1943
French village, a small settlement on Saint Thomas Island, Virgin Islands. Boys playing dominoes in one of the houses photographer Jack Delano, Dec. 1941
Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas Island, Virgin Islands. Playing dominoes in a small candy store photographer Jack Delano Dec. 1941
San Augustine, Texas. Justice of the Peace, R.L. Armstrong and night marshall Jeff Davis playing dominoes in a courthouse office photographer John Vachon April 1943
Tulare County, California. FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers’ camp. Girl Scout learning camp. Domino game Feb. 1942 Russell Lee
Tulare County, California. FSA (Farm Security Administration) farm workers’ camp. Domino game Feb. 1942 Russell Lee
London, England. Lieutenant Samuel Levin, left, of New York City, and Lieutenant Fred O. Wickham, of Jefferson City Missouri, playing a game of dominoes ca. 1940’s
A game of dominos in the workers’ quarter of Puerto De Tierra. San Juan, Puerto Rico – photographer Edwin Rosskarn January 1938
As soon as the market closes members of the cotton exchange very often start a card or domino game. Memphis, Tennessee – photographer Marion Post Wolcott Nov. 1939
Dallas, Texas. Press operators on the Dallas Morning News playing dominos while waiting for the forms to come down from the composing room John Vachon April 1943