Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Today's Trivia - Play-Doh: The Wallpaper Cleaner

Did you know that the brightly-coloured, modeling clay named Play-Doh that we (and our children) squeezed, molded and occasionally ate as youngsters was originally manufactured as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s?

Neither did I.

This non-toxic, non-staining, reusable modeling clay (and, at times, snack for toddlers) that we all know as Play-Doh was originally a pliable, putty-like wallpaper cleaner invented by Noah McVicker for Kutol Products, a family-owned Cincinnati-based soap company.

After World War II, McVicker's nephew, Joseph McVicker, joined Kutol and discovered that nursery school children were using the cleaner as a modeling compound to make Christmas ornaments. The product was reworked and marketed to Cincinnati schools in the mid 1950s.

And the rest is history...

14 comments:

  1. Okay why am I not surprised that it was used to clean wall paper. That's exactly what it looks and feels like - wall paper cleaner! Ha ha. I used to go into the kindergarten classrooms on occasion when I was working and boy that that stuff gross me out. But the kids loved it (for some reason) Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was never a fan of it either. It has such a weird smell to it. But, yes, the kids seem to love it.

      Delete
  2. Why can't I discover things like this? Seriously, what's wrong with me?
    m.

    ReplyDelete
  3. And then they laughed all the way to the bank!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You really do come up with the most interesting things, Martha!

    For some reason, my kids never cared too much for Play-Doh, which was fine with me. Every time they did play with it, I ended up with colorful little hardened Play-Doh bits everywhere, including in their hair. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no telling what you'll run across when you're surfing the internet.

      My kids didn't care too much for it, either. And that suited me fine. I never really liked Play-Doh.

      Delete
  5. How truly fascinating. This isn't the first time I've heard of a product being invented for a specific purpose, only to have it turn out to have a very different (& more lucrative) use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whenever I hear about these things, I ask myself how I can't come up with a great idea like this. The inventors of these things always make it seem so simple.

      Delete
  6. So you would rub the wallpaper with it? Is is neat that many times people watching how children are playing then turn around and make a fortune from it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really have no idea how it was used. Perhaps the texture was different? Anyway, it really is interesting how someone can take a product like this and invent a super popular product from it ---- that's still around!

      Delete
  7. How interesting! You learn something new everyday!

    ReplyDelete