National Slinky Day
Millions upon millions of people have heard this little jingle. The Slink is catchy and a toy that has been a staple of our childhoods, making it a Toy Hall of Fame star.
You can find Barbie, G.I. Joe and LEGO sitting there. This toy is a powerhouse, and it started with the humblest of beginnings. Despite its humble beginnings, it was enough to make it a household name worldwide. Later, National Slinky Day was established to remind children to play with the metal and plastic coils.
Original design and sale of the Slinky took place in the 1940s. Inadvertently, he had knocked a spring from the shelf and observed it “walk” down a series books to a tabletop and then to the floor, where it neatly coiled. Richard James, the inventor, was home with Betty. He said that if he had the right steel property and the right tension, he could make the spring walk. He was able to complete the task in just over a year. James and his wife started a company to manufacture and sell this unique toy. They made 400 Slinkys with a five-hundred dollar loan. They were not a huge hit, even though they cost only a dollar.
They were allowed to put up an inclined airplane in the Gimbles Department Store’s toy section until that fateful day. They sold all 400 units in ninety minutes. Additional units were requested. The American Toy Fair was the largest gathering of businesses that make and sell toys to different stores one year later.
The Slinky has been sold all over the globe since then. Both metal and plastic versions have been used in various ways. They were used by the United States military as mobile antennas during the Vietnam War. Amateur radio operators have also used them since then. They are used by NASA for experiments on Space Shuttles and teachers to simulate oscillation in waves.
Take one of these toys and send it down the stairs. Try to get it down at least one flight. Perhaps you can figure out how it can walk down a hill or get it to move from one end of the table to the other. For those who are truly obsessed, you can break the Guinness Book of World Records distance record for longest Slinky distance. Perhaps you’d like to learn more about the science behind the Slinky and why it works the way it does.