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Subbuteo Prototype

The prototype for the popular table football game.


Subbuteo was invented in 1947 by Peter Adolph, who lived at Langton Green near Tunbridge Wells. Peter Adolph sold the business in 1968, but the game continued to be made in and around Tunbridge Wells until 1981.

Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery

Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery,
Civic Way,
Monson Road,
Royal Tunbridge Wells,


The figures were originally hand-painted by outworkers in their own homes. Peter Adolph was a keen birdwatcher and named his invention after the scientific name of the bird of prey known as the Hobby.

Curriculum Links:

  • KS1: Local History, Significant Individuals, Artists, Craft Makers and Designers, Artists, Craft Makers and Designers
  • KS2: Local History, Mechanical Systems, Artists, Architects and Designers in History
  • KS3: Local History, History of Art, Craft and Design, Mechanical Systems


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