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Aristospel
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Aristospel was a Swedish board game publisher. The company was founded in Stockholm in 1936 by sisters Thyra and Berta Svensson. Of younger sister Berta only little is known, while Thyra (born 1883, year of death unknown) has left a larger mark since she was the first female Chartered Accountant in Sweden. Thyra had also broad experiences as a company manager as she had - before Aristospel - owned a secreterial college and an accountantcy bureau.

From the beginning Aristospel published card games and also a very popular handbook on forest mushrooms and after some time Aristospel also became a cartonboard manufacturer - no doubt a clever idea if you sell board games. But the big thing happened in 1938 when they struck gold. Legend has it that a unknown man visited the offices of sisters Svensson at Birger Jarlsgatan in Stockholm and offered them an idea on a table game that would simulate ice hockey or football (soccer). They bought it - cash in hand - and tasked brothers Klas and Henrik Widegren to shape it up.

This game became the Puck ice hockey table top game (or Rod Hockey) - the very first game in its genre. Se also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITHF_table_hockey. The unknown man has since (probably) been identified as a journalist from Söderhamn, Bernt Unger. The rest is, as they say, history! (Well, not really as we shall soon see!)

While the ice hockey table top game became their core product, Aristospel also published a large number of "ordinary" board games, not seldom it seems in rather small editions and occasionally in fragile boxes. Due to this, the games of Aristospel is nowadays sought-after collectibles and somewhat of a speciality niche for Swedish board game collectors.

Thyra Svensson was 53 years of age when she started Aristospel and would herself act as CEO and President until very late in life. Somewhere along the road a Sture Chrona was employed; he would eventually raise to become CEO in Aristospel's later years. (The fate of sister Berta is presently unknown.) Other well known names connected with Aristospel were Bertil Almqvist and Börje Dorch.

In the 1950's patents for the ice hockey game expired and Aristospel experienced wide competition in this field from companies like Alga and Stiga. Stiga would eventually win the match, so ice hockey games from both Aristospel and Alga is today very much collectibles.

Stiga's "victory" in this market was a blow that proved to be too much for Aristospel, so they declared bankruptcy and went into liquidation in 1972. Some of their games, most notably Bondespelet, was taken over by Alga who is still publishing new editions of this game.

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