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!