National Play-Doh Day
National Play-Doh Day on September 16th recognizes a child’s modeling clay. However, before it found its way to the craft shelf, Play-Doh had more practical uses.
Play-Doh inventor, Joe McVicker of Cincinnati, Ohio, sold it initially as a wallpaper cleaner. When his father died in 1949, his mother promptly hired him and his brother-in-law to help with the family business, Kutol Products Company. Right about that time, oil furnaces began replacing coal-burning furnaces. It wasn’t long before the wallpaper cleaner sales dwindled.
In 1955, McVicker began testing the cleaner as a modeling clay in classrooms and daycares for students. Seeing the product worked, he named it Play-Doh and he went into business with his uncle under the name of the Rainbow Crafts Company, Inc.a year later. To protect their new product, McVicker filed for a patent in 1958. However, the patent wasn’t approved until January 26, 1965. By then, General Mills had purchased the company.
At first Rainbow Crafts Company offered only one color – white. But soon, red, blue and yellow followed. The company sold them by the gallon. Once again, they modified their offerings and 11-ounce sizes were offered.
Around the same time, McVicker was testing Play-Doh, a new children’s television show began broadcasting on CBS. Bob Keeshan played the role of Captain Kangaroo. While Play-Doh’s sales were nice, they weren’t spectacular. McVicker had an idea. He asked Captain Kangaroo to promote his modeling clay on his show. The children’s television show host agreed and the children’s iconic modeling clay took off!
In 1998, the Toy Hall of Fame inducted Play-Doh into its hallowed halls.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalPlayDohDay
Go find a can of Play-Doh and let your imagination run wild. Use #NationalPlayDohDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL PLAY-DOH DAY HISTORY
Since 2006, the company Hasbro has recognized National Play-Doy Day since 2006.