The 1950’s spawned a lot of inventions, here is my pick that stood the test of time & remain in use today.
1, Mr Potato Head 1952.
Originally invented by George Lerner after discovering the fun you could have by inserting things into fruit & vegetables, Hasbro (at the time known as Hassenfeld Bros) brought the rights for $5,000 & offered Lerner $500 in advance and 5% royalty per item sold. Mr Potato Head hit the shops on 1st May 1952, having been the first toy to be advertised, directly at children, on children’s TV, the previous day.
The original Mr Potato Head was sold without the potato body so parents had to supply their own .
Going from strength to strength Mr Potato Head has walked his journey with other such great characters, Mrs Potato Head, Brother Spud & Sister Yam. In the 1960’s he was also joined by Oscar the Orange & Pete the Pepper.
In 1986, he became “Spokespud” for the Great American Smokeout when he surrendered his pipe to the Surgeon General in Washington DC.
In 1995 he made his acting debut in Toy story 1, appearing also in Toy story 2 in 1999, & Toy Story 3 due out this year, 2010.
Mr Potato Head surely is the King of all potatoes, having lasted 60 years he still has a very important part to play with future generations.
2, The Hula Hoop 1958
The Hula Hoop has been around, and around, and around, and around since time began. No one person can claim they invented it, but the term Hula Hoop & its modern format, came to prominence in 1958 when Richard Knerr & Arthur “Spud” Melin, founders of the Wham-O Company, trademarked the name and begun mass production. In the first 6 months they sold over 20 million.
To this day the Hula- Hoop still goes on, & on, & on, & on. It has its own World Hula Day which takes place on the following dates, 2007-07-07, 2008-08-08, 2009-09-09, and so on, where money is raised to pay for Hula’s for the under privileged.
Having spanned the years since time began the Hula Hoop must be one of the worlds oldest toys.
3, Barbie Doll 1959
Barbie was launched by Mattel Inc in 1959. It made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York on March 9th, 1959. This date is known as Barbie’s Birthday.