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"On this Day in History"

On this Day in History the Hula-Hoop was patented.

Comment .... This was a really big deal in 1963...

On March 5, 1963, the Hula-Hoop, a hip-swiveling toy that became a huge fad across America when it was first marketed by Wham-O in 1958, is patented by the company’s co-founder, Arthur “Spud” Melin. An estimated 25 million Hula-Hoops were sold in its first four months of production alone. In 1948, friends Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr founded a company in California to sell a slingshot they created to shoot meat up to falcons they used for hunting. The company’s name, Wham-O, came from the sound the slingshots supposedly made. Wham-O eventually branched out from slingshots, selling boomerangs and other sporting goods. Its first hit toy, a flying plastic disc known as the Frisbee, debuted in 1957. The Frisbee was originally marketed under a different name, the Pluto Platter, in an effort to capitalize on America’s fascination with UFOs. Melina and Knerr were inspired to develop the Hula-Hoop after they saw a wooden hoop that Australian children twirled around their waists during gym class. Wham-O began producing a plastic version of the hoop, dubbed “Hula” after the hip-gyrating Hawaiian dance of the same name, and demonstrating it on Southern California playgrounds. Hula-Hoop mania took off from there. The enormous popularity of the Hula-Hoop was short-lived and within a matter of months, the masses were on to the next big thing. However, the Hula-Hoop never faded away completely and still has its fans today. According to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, in April 2004, a performer at the Big Apple Circus in Boston simultaneously spun 100 hoops around her body. Earlier that same year, in January, according to the Guinness World Records, two people in Tokyo, Japan, managed to spin the world’s largest hoop–at 13 feet, 4 inches–around their waists at least three times each. Following the Hula-Hoop, Wham-O continued to produce a steady stream of wacky and beloved novelty items, including the Superball, Water Wiggle, Silly String, Slip ‘n’ Slide and the Hacky Sack.


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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2017 10:33 am (UTC)
Really? That late? I'm sure they had hoops they played with before that, but they rolled them down the streets using sticks to control them. Oh, I see they were used in Australia before that.

Frisbees didn't take off until the 1980s, in my memory.

Hula Hoops had a resurgence over here in the 1990s or 2000s with the advent of doofs.

Mar. 6th, 2017 02:03 pm (UTC)
Those things they rolled down the street were the metal rings from wooden wine barrels.. I remember those.. It could be where the idea came from..
Mar. 7th, 2017 11:14 am (UTC)
Ah, is that where they came from? Well, they made a good play toy :) You were even around when they were still around? Cool! They would have been too heavy for a Hula Hoop. I was around when we had the bamboo ones :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


L.J. Ferrari

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