It's trivia time -- Did you know that Play-Doh, one of the world's most famous toys was initially used by houwewives in the 50s to remove coal soot from wallpaper? And it would have probably completely disappeared from our lives if it wasn't for one nursery school teacher who figured out a way to keep her students busy by letting them play with it.
But, let's tell you the whole story from the beginning.
Play-Doh was actually called Kutol, just one of a line of products of a Cincinnati-based company that in the middle of the last century produced cleaning supplies. Since the majority of American homes had vinyl wallpaper and coal stoves in them, Kutol was composed of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil that formed the familiar sticky glob which could be used to remove coal powder from the vinyl-covered walls.
But, in 1955, coal were being replaced by oil and natural gas because it was cleaner. Also, the vinyl-wallpaper craze had started waning so Kutol sales started going down. This is when the nursery teacher we mentioned earlier comes in. She was actually the sister-in-law of the owner of the company. She came up with the brilliant idea to re-brand Kutol as a children's toy. Thus was born a marketing genius and a new classic children's toy.
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The rest as they say is history. Last week, Play-Doh celebrated its 60th anniversary and it looks like the toy is not going anywhere any time soon. With 50 clors to choose from, kids these days have it much better than their peers in the late 50s (they only had four available shades back then). It's one of the very few toys that we can think of that hasn't been erased or replaced by its tech version and we're very happy about this.
Also, now you know that if you ever need to clean a stain from a vinyl surface, all you need to do is use your kids' Play-Doh.
Here's how you make your own Play-Doh!