Finance #TBT: Your favorite childhood toy was patented 53 years ago
Wish your favorite hip-swinging childhood toy a happy official birthday; 53 years ago, on March 5, the Hula-Hoop was patented.
It all began with a company called Wham-O (they invented another sort of popular toy you may know called the Frisbee). Arthur "Spud" Melin and Richard Knerr founded the company in 1948. They chose the name Wham-O because they thought it was a phonetic way to express the sound that their first invention, a hunting slingshot, made when it was used.
After Frisbee mania, Melin and Knerr found themselves inspired when they saw Australian students in gym class twirling large wooden hoops around their waists.
Seeing an opportunity to reinvent something that was so successful in Australia, the pair began mass-producing a plastic version of the toy in California, where the two men and their company were based.
Inspired by the traditional Hawaiian dance that involves slow, isolated hip movements, the men decided to simply name the toy "Hula Hoop".
The rest is history; the toy sold around 25 million units within its first four months on the market.
If you're currently resisting the urge to go home and rip apart your garage to go find yours, know that we're planning on doing the exact same thing.
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