New Kensington woman among inventors honored in Ms. Monopoly game |
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Mary Ann Thomas

The first game in the 84-year-old Monopoly franchise to celebrate women trailblazers will hit store shelves soon under the name Ms. Monopoly, Hasbro announced Tuesday.

“While Mr. Monopoly is a real-estate mogul, Ms. Monopoly is an advocate whose mission is to invest in female entrepreneurs,” Hasbro said of its latest version of the popular board game.

In Ms. Monopoly, properties are replaced by inventions and innovations created by women, including WiFi, chocolate chip cookies and Kevlar — the main ingredient in bulletproof vests invented by the late New Kensington native Stephanie Kwolek.

Kwolek, a chemist, invented the synthetic fiber Kevlar while working for DuPont in 1965. She was 90 when she died in 2014.

In 1999, Kwolek was given the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to polymer science. In addition to inventing Kevlar, Kwolek contributed to the development of the fibers Lycra, Spandex, Nomex and Kapton.

In 2016, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and New Kensington dedicated a historical marker to Kwolek on Seventh Street in New Kensington, near her childhood home.

It’s not surprising that the Ms. Monopoly game covers the debate over equal pay, reversing the longtime trend with the banker doling out $1,900 in Monopoly Money to each female player and $1,500 to each male, according to an article in USA Today. The gap continues every time a player passes go, with women collecting $240 and men $200.

Ms. Monopoly will be available in stores by mid-September.

The game is available for pre-order at Walmart for a suggested retail price of $19.99, according to Hasbro.

To celebrate the launch, in lieu of Monopoly winnings, Hasbro surprised young female inventors with about $20,580 in real money to fuel their inventive spirit.

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