The Invention of the Slinky Toy by Richard James
The Slinky is a classic and iconic toy that has entertained children and adults for generations. A helical spring can perform a series of movements, such as “walking” down a flight of stairs or stretching and recoiling. The Slinky was invented in 1943 by Richard James, a naval engineer, and was introduced to the market in 1945.
Details: In 1943, Richard James was working at the Cramp Shipbuilding Company in Philadelphia when he accidentally knocked a tension spring off his desk. He observed the spring’s unique movement as it “walked” across the floor, which sparked the idea for the Slinky. Richard James and his wife, Betty James, experimented with different materials and sizes to perfect Slinky’s design. They eventually settled on a steel spring with 80 coils, creating the iconic Slinky that is still popular today.
After securing a $500 loan, Richard and Betty formed James Industries and began manufacturing the Slinky (US Patent #US691981A). The toy debuted at the Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia in November 1945. All 400 Slinky toys available at the store sold out within 90 minutes, making it an instant success.
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The Slinky was invented in 1943 by American naval engineer Richard James, who co-founded James Industries with his wife, Betty. The iconic toy debuted in 1945 and quickly became a symbol of childhood nostalgia, featured in various forms of media and inspiring spin-off products. The Slinky was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2000, recognizing its impact on the world of toys and play.