Mahjong: An Introduction into the Western World
An American anthropologist named Stewart Culin in 1895, mentioned Mahjong in one of his papers. This is the very first written account of this game in any other language other than Chinese. By 1910, there were various written accounts in numerous languages, including Japanese and French. In the 1920s Mahjong as a game was imported to the United States.
Joseph Park Babcock in 1920 published his book Rules of Mah-Jongg, also known as the "red book" was the initial edition of mahjong known to America. Babcock had educated himself about the game mahjong while staying in China.
The game has took brought to itself a number of established names, such as "Game of Thousand Intelligences" and "Pung Chow". During those times in America Mahjong nights often saw dressing of the people and decorating rooms in Chinese fashion.
A lot of alternatives of the game mahjong were developed during this incredible period. By 1930s, many versions of the rules of mahjong were developed which were significantly different from Babcock's original version (including some important fundamentals such as the conception of a standard hand).
During the Babcock era when the game mahjong was acknowledged by U.S. players of all ethnicity, many believed it as the modern American adaptation of a Jewish game, as several American mahjong players are of Jewish descent. Jewish players foundered the NMJL and are known as a Jewish organization. Moreover, the game became as a family-friendly social activity, not as gambling.
In 1977 a British author named Alan D. Millington invigorated the Chinese traditional game of the 1920s in his book The Complete Book of Mah-jongg This book mentions the formal rules put for the game. A lot of players in Western countries consider Millington's work trustworthy.