These were fun in the summer. A piece of plastic with a garden hose attached and voilà… a wet fun slide. I would slide down with reckless abandonment until…until I would slide over a sharp rock that was poking through the yellow plastic…then I would slip ‘n slide to first aid but it was fun. It was a great way to spend a summer day and I wouldn’t trade a minute of fun on it for anything.
Slip ‘n Slide was invented by Robert Carrier. Wham-O manufactured it in 1961, the Slip ‘n Slide is still hugely popular today.
Carrier originally sewed 50 foot of Naugahyde and brought it home for his kid to play on and all the kids in the neighborhood came by to slide down the Naugahyde material that he hosed down. He stitched a long tube along one side, sewn shut at one end, with spaces between the stitching so that when you attached the hose, the water pressure would build up and water would squirt out those openings and lubricate the surface of the material.
Wham-O traded the Naugahyde for more cost-efficient plastic (still used today), shortened the length from 50 to 25 feet and took the toy to market in 1961. It was an immediate success: 300,000 were sold within the first six months, and the total reached more than 30 million by its 50th anniversary.
This was one of my favorite toys in my childhood.