Al Marrufo, our Quality Assurance Team Lead didn’t realize it but he is guest author for this week’s Blog. He posted the following article on facebook and I am using it for the Blog. Thanks for the day off Al.
Somehow if the song had gone: “A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing! Everyone knows it’s Industrial Equipment Stabilizers,” it wouldn’t have been quite as catchy.
Yet that was the intended use of the springs naval engineer Richard James was developing in 1943. The sensitive springs were meant to keep fragile equipment steady on ships. Then James knocked one of his new springs from a shelf and, like a kid on Christmas morning, watched it do that famous Slinky walk down instead of just hitting the ground, as Time noted in its all-time greatest toys list last year.
He took the creation home to show his wife, Betty, who saw the potential for a new toy. After consulting the dictionary, a name sprung (sorry) to mind: Slinky, a Swedish term meaning “sleek and sinuous.” By time the toy was demonstrated in front of Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia, during the 1945 Christmas season, it was clear it would be the Tickle Me Elmo of its time. The industrial machine James had could coil 80 feet of wire into two inches, and hundreds of Slinkys were already being sold.
That’s not all, either: The Slinky has found other uses, including as an antenna by soldiers in Vietnam and as a therapy tool. Whatever the use, everyone knows it’s Slinky.