A brief history of our beloved Slinky toy on its 70th anniversary
In 1943 during World War II, Richard James was working as an engineer in the United States Navy. As he worked on a new ship, a torsion spring suddenly fell to the floor. Rather than gracing the ground with a smooth landing, the tricky torsion flipped and flopped continuously, mesmerizing James in the process.
Eager to recreate the interesting way the spring flipped and flopped, James and his wife Betty set off to coil a long steel ribbon into the perfect spiral.
Alas, the Slinky was born. Two years later, the toy debuted at Gimbel's Department Store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While James was initially skeptical about how the humble device would sell, his worries were put to rest when 400 Slinkies were purchased in 90 minutes.
Since that fateful day, over three hundred million Slinkies have been sold worldwide. The toy became so iconic that today, August 30, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Slinky's invention.
The majority of Millennials grew up with the Slinky. We watched, hearts racing, as our trusty Slinkies raced those of our siblings down the staircases in our homes. We practiced and perfected awesome Slinky tricks that won the adoration of all the kids in school. We spent hours untangling them as they twisted, knotted, and spiraled out of control after a long day of use.
Much like chokers, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, bell-bottoms, and Cabbage Patch Kids, we can't imagine our childhoods without our beloved Slinkies. They taught us to love the simple things in life and enabled us to explore the boundaries of our imaginations. Plus, they came in pretty sweet colors and designs.
Thank you, Slinky, for being such a pivotal part of our childhoods. We celebrate you today and every day. Long live the Slinky!
Check out this Slinky master's mesmerizing tricks:
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