Play-Doh - A soft-pliable compound made of flour,
water and coloring that debuted in 1957. The original Play-Doh formula can be
traced to Joseph McVicker of Kutol Chemicals in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1955,
McVicker's sister-in-law, a teacher in New Jersey, inquired about a safe and fun
modeling clay substitute to give to her nursery school children. Joseph sent her
a sample of a non-toxic compound used to clean wallpaper. The clay was an
instant success and soon the Cincinnati Board of Education was using it in all
their elementary schools.
Formalizing his product as Play-doh, McVicker's
founded Rainbow Crafts in 1956 and with sales to such retail establishments as
Woodard & Lothrop department stores in Washington, D.C. his soft, malleable
substance soon became a top selling product.
In the 1970s, Rainbow Crafts merged
with Kenner Products and later Hasbro Toys took up the product line.
Play-Doh was a grayish-white color, (sold in 1 ½ pound cans and later three and
four packs) but colors such as yellow, red and blue purple, pink, orange and
green. gold and silver were introduced to enhance sales and appearance.
The original Play-Doh product mascot was a pixie called Play-Doh Pete. September
16th is national Play-doh Day.
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