Play-Doh…not for consumption.

I’ve been music heavy lately and wanted to live up more to the “eclectic” part of the blog’s name.

In first grade…I found the wonderous invention called Play-Doh. I loved making things and the smell of play-doh… I had a friend in school named Kevin…he would eat Play-Doh at times…I didn’t go that far. Kevin would deny eating it but when he smiled the teacher would see yellow, blue, and red all between his teeth… He would also eat crayons…Lost touch with Kevin after second grade when I assigned to a different school in our area which was closer…maybe that was for the best…

Today if I ever walk by Play-Doh I have to pick it up and do something with it. When my son was a kid we would make all sorts of things. I always loved taking the top off of a new one and trying to keep the colors separated…

Kevin where ever you are now…this post is for you.

In the 1930s Noah McVicker created a substance that looked like putty out of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil. His family’s soap company — Kutol Products — in Cincinnati, Ohio, marketed his creation as a wallpaper cleaner.

It wasn’t until after World War II that Noah McVicker’s nephew, Joseph McVicker soon realized that Kutol Products’ wallpaper cleaner also could be used as modeling clay. In 1955, he tested the product in Cincinnati-area schools and daycares. The following year, the Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington, DC, began to sell the clay, which McVicker had named Play-Doh. Noah and Joseph McVicker applied for a patent for Play-Doh in 1958, but the United States Patent Office did not officially patent the clay until January 26, 1965.

Captain Kangaroo had a part in the popularity. 

When it was just a new company with no advertising budget,  Joe McVicker talked his way in to visit Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo. Although the company couldn’t pay the show outright, McVicker offered them two percent of Play-Doh sales for featuring the product once a week. Keeshan loved the compound and began featuring it three times weekly.

Today, Play-Doh is owned by Hasbro that continues to make and sell the product through its Playskool line. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association added Play-Doh to its “Century of Toys List,” which contains the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the last 100 years.

Since its “invention,” over 700 million pounds of Play-Doh have been sold around the world!




Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Play-Doh…not for consumption.”

  1. There’s something about the sense of smell that goes right past the thought process, and direct to the animal brain. I’m sixty and I can “smell” that stuff like I’m in first grade again, and just opened a can. Thanks for a fun read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although Play-doh was around, we mostly used plasticine (as did John Lennon with the ‘Plasticine Porters’ in Lucy In the Sky). This came in multicoloured packs which would end up brown very quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess a lot of things don’t travel to well. ‘One for me, nineteen for you’ is another one you would scratch your head over, unless you know that in the pre-decimal 60s it was 20 shillings to a pound (£, not lb) and the Beatles paid 95% tax i.e. 19/- per £

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve read about the taxes and the exodus of rock bands so they could keep some of their money in the seventies. I didn’t know about the shillings though. I just took the line in general. Again it makes more sense now.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea one of those play doh canisters… sorry…but we called that a tub… so a container… no nibbling for Kevin. Now I wish I knew what happened to him

        Liked by 2 people

      2. OK. I bet he moves kinda slow these days then. Or who knows maybe he’s a surgeon or something. Fizz was honestly one of the most naturally gifted musicians I ever met. He hit 15 got a Stratocaster and took to the skies

        Liked by 2 people

      3. .I have a couple of friends that were like that…One of them could rip off Clapton’s Crossroads solo when he was a teen… he is still great… To watch them where everything comes easy as far as playing solos and such. I worked for every note I’ve ever played.

        Liked by 1 person

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