The life and times of the Redding family.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The History of Slinky

Do you know the history of the Slinky?

I am fascinated with how things came to be so I frequently look up weird stuff.

Today, I learned that the Slinky was invented by accident. An inventor, Richard James was trying to invent a device to stabalize navigational instruments aboard Navy boats. Richard James believed that springs were the solution. He tried springs in many different ways and was never able to come up with a way to stabalize the instruments. One day he accidentally knocked a large spring off the shelf and noticed it did not just drop and stop but walked itself down several things on its way to the floor. After work he shared his discovery with his wife. She is the one who saw it's possibility as a toy. She knew he had invented a wonderful toy. The next year they got a $500 loan and produced 400 of these new toys but not a one sold. They then convinced Gimbel's department to let them do a demonstration of the Slinky. All 400 were sold within 90 minutes. Before long they were able to start their own company to produce them. Within a few years they were millionaires. Slinkys have been used as military tools (antennas), gardening tools (to scare crows), and toys. They have even been taken into space.

More slinky trivia:

about 80 feet of wire per slinky
about 10 seconds to make a slinky

Just thought you should know!


Josiah said...


Jean Ann Williams said...

Well, I'll be hornswoggled! A simple piece of wire makes someone a millionaire. Wow! I'll do some research and find out the dates of this invention progress. Makes me want to write an article about the slinky.

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