With the ongoing scavenger hunt that we are hosting, it got us thinking a little bit- how did scavenger hunts originate? So we did some digging.
According to multiple sources, the tradition began during Greek times but did not officially gain traction until social columnist Elsa Maxwell (May 24, 1883 – November 1, 1963) hosted a bizarre party in the 1930s.
Elsa Maxwell was well known as an American gossip columnist, author, songwriter, and a professional hostess. She hosted parties for royalty and high society figures of her time (think Great Gatsby type of parties) and made a living off of it. She became known as the originator of the scavenger hunt from one of her wild parties hosted in Paris of 1927. During the party guests had to find some peculiar items that resulted in a city wide disturbance, which is what brought attention to the scavenger hunt party idea.
Some of the items that guests had to find include music-hall star Mistinguett’s shoe, a black swan from the Bois de Boulogne, the red pom pom on a French seaman’s hat. Before the night was over Mistinguett had performed barefoot at the Casino de Paris, a feisty swan sent two people to the hospital, and Elsie de Wolfe (wife of the British diplomat, Sir Charles Mendl) was accused of theft by the French Navy. (source: www.cityscape-adventures.com)
And of course that one crazy party was not the end of scavenger hunts. As we see today in modern times you have apps like Pokemon Go, establishments such as The Escape Room, and even online websites that help you plan and create your own scavenger hunt parties.
Don’t forget to stay up to date with our ongoing scavenger hunt! We will be giving more and more hints out the closer we get to finals so stay tuned!