So my kids are dragging their feet on writing their Santa letters because they can't quite decide what they want. I have a feeling that Mr. Claus will be bringing at least one thing beginning with N and ending with intendo in the next few weeks but beyond that they haven't been specific. One thing I know they'll each be getting has no batteries or power cords or itty bitty games that are as bad as Legos to step on in the middle of the night. It's this.
Ah, the Slinky. The kids get them every year in their stockings and stretch them out of shape by New Years. For us it's part of supporting the local economy. The Slinky factory is still in the county where I live even though James Industries was bought out by Poof Toys several years ago. Poof-Slinky maintains an online Slinky Museum that includes the toy's history, one of the great success stories in American business. The Slinky was invented by Naval engineer Richard James and went on sale at Gimbels department store for $1 in 1945. The entire stock of 400 sold out in 90 minutes. That's only part of the story, though.
In 1960, Richard James moved to Bolivia to become a missionary with Wycliffe Bible Translators. His wife, Betty, stayed behind and took over as CEO. Her first job was satisfying creditors who'd been stiffed as a result of her now ex-husband's donations to his church. She moved her company and her young family of six children back to her hometown and kept going. Look up "determination" in the dictionary and there's a picture of Betty James. She's one of my heroes.
Everyone knows it's Slinky now, over 60 years on, but I'm sure that when it was introduced there were questions posed like these ones by Peter, Paul and Mary. What was your marvelous toy when you were a kid? Comments are open.