Raise Your Hands If you’ve Ever Played With Silly Putty

Raise Your Hands If you’ve Ever Played With Silly Putty

Raise them high because today  (3/2) is Silly Putty Day! Silly Putty, that wonderful pink rubber-like stretchy substance was introduced to the public on March 2nd in 1950. 61 years ago!  Do you know the story behind this silly stuff???

Developed as a possible rubber substitute for the World War II effort. America needed rubber to produce truck tires and boot soles, so manufacturers were asked to come up with a synthetic rubber. James Wright, an engineer with General Electric combined silicone oil and boric acid resulting in a goewy substance that when dropped bounces. They called it Bouncing Putty.  Try as they might, GE could not come up with a practical use for the substance.  However, in 1949 Paul Hogdson, a toy store manager  bought $147 dollars worth of Bouncing Putty, separated it into little colored eggs, called it SILLY PUTTY and then sold it through his toy store.

In August of 1950, a writer for the New Yorker magazine discovered Silly Putty in a Doubleday bookstore. He wrote a story on it in The Talk of the Town. Within three days, Hodgson received orders for 250,000 eggs. And just in case you thought Silly Putty was totally silly, you might be surprised to know that it was included in a Smithsonian Institute display in 2000, as part of an exhibit displaying objects that helped shape American culture.

I just had to share this fun little story. I LOVED Silly Putty as a kid. I must admit, now at the age of 52… I have two eggs of Silly Putty to play with. What can I say?  I like the stuff :).  Of course, I have a mini-slinky on my desk and a teeny etch-sketch in my drawer.  Moral of the story – you’re never too old for stuff like this. So get yourself some Silly Putty.

Check out this old commercial. The smoke ring is a hoot…

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