Slinky Day is observed on August 30 every year. It is a day set aside to honor a Toy Hall of Fame Superstar that appeared by chance but captured the imagination of children all around the country. Richard James, an American naval engineer, designed the Slinky toy in 1943 in Philadelphia, and it has been around for more than six decades. In the toy market, it was an instant hit, selling out in a matter of hours. Slinky Day honors the Slinky by allowing children to enjoy Slinky stunts, race with Slinkies, or simply untangle Slinkies as they knot, twist, and spiral!
History of Slinky Day
Richard James, a Navy mechanical engineer, stationed at the time, discovered the Slinky by knocking a spring off a shelf by accident and watched as it stepped in a series of arcs to a stack of books, a tabletop, and finally to the floor, where it recoiled and stood upright. Over the next year, James experimented with several sorts of steel wire until he discovered a spring that could walk.
The Jameses had trouble selling Slinky to toy stores, but they were granted permission to show the toy in November 1945. Slinky was a smash hit, with the first 400 units selling out in under 90 minutes. Slinky was first shown at the U.S. Toy Fair in 1946. In 1952, the Slinky Dog debuted. In the 1950s, new Slinky toys were introduced. Some of these include slinky Suzie and Slinky Crazy Eyes.
After his wife filed for divorce in 1960, Richard James quit the company. Betty James ran the company, juggled creditors, and relocated it to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1964. Betty James insisted on keeping the original Slinky affordable and a slinky cost between $1.89 and $2.69 in 1996. Poof Products, Inc. of Plymouth, Michigan, a manufacturer of foam sports balls, purchased James Industries in 1998. Poof-Slinky, Inc. was formed in 2003 when James Industries and Poof Products, Inc. amalgamated. Slinky has been used as a teaching tool, a portable radio antenna, and in NASA physics experiments, in addition to being a toy.