The Real Toy Story
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 5
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||desktop, educational, life-sized, non-toxic, pre-school, puttylike, re-named, presented, demonstration, originally, gimmick, failure, original, substance, purpose, interesting
||Richard James, Joe McVicker, Magic Wallpaper Cleaner, New Jersey, Magic Clay, Pillsbury Company, Reyn Geyer, Milton Bradley, Johnny Carson, Eva Gabor
The Real Toy Story
By Joyce Furstenau
1 Have you ever wondered how some of your toys were created? Behind almost every toy or game is an interesting story. One toy got its start as wallpaper cleaner. Another was created when a large spring got accidentally knocked from a shelf. A game was born from an attempt to create a gimmick to sell shoe polish. Each of these toys has a story behind its invention. Knowing the real toy story might help you understand a part of history as well.
2 When the Slinky was created, it came from a goof-up. In 1945, a man named Richard James was working in a Philadelphia shipyard. He was working for the Navy to make a stabilizing device for the instruments on its ships. When a ship is at sea, it sways and rocks in all directions. The Navy needed a device to keep the instruments steady. Richard thought springs in some form might do the trick.
3 He experimented with all different sizes and lengths of springs. None of them worked. Each failure was placed on the shelf beside the last. One day, Richard accidentally knocked a spring off the shelf. Instead of bouncing or plopping on the floor, he noticed the spring appeared to be almost walking. It crept from the shelf to a stack of books, to a desktop, to a chair, and then onto the floor. He tried it several more times. It did the same thing each time.
4 Richard brought it home and showed it to his wife. She thought his "magic" spring would be a great toy. She spent two days trying to come up with a name for it. She and Richard finally decided upon "Slinky."
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