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Toys and Games - Hall of Fame

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The National Toy Hall of Fame at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York recognizes the following toys and games as having sustained their popularity for many years. These toys were either created or introduced to the public in the following years. Criteria for admission into the Hall include 1. icon-status (the toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered) 2. longevity (more than a passing fad) 3. discovery (fosters learning, creativity, or discovery)and 4.innovation (profoundly changed play or toy design)

20 facts:

Barbie Dolls
   was created by   
Ruth Handler
Created by the wife of Mattel, Inc. co-founder Elliot Handler launched in March 1959. It was based upon the German doll Bild Lilli. Named after their daughter Barbara. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
Crayola Crayons
   was created by   
Edwin Binney & Harold C. Smith
Introduced in 1903 by Binney & Smith which had been founded by cousins Edwin Binney and Harold C. Smith in 1895. Waxed crayons made of paraffin wax in a box of 8 colors originally black, brown, blue, red, purple, orange, yellow, and green. Crayola was a name created by Edwin’s wife Alice Stead Binney who took the French words for chalk, "craie", and oily, "oléagineux", and combined them. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
The Duncan Yo-Yo
   was created by   
Donald Duncan
The yo-yo is an ancient toy dating back to about 500 BC. The word yo-yo possibly comes from the Tagalog word meaning “come-come” or return. First patented in 1866 called a bandelore by Charles Hettrick and James L. Haven of Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1928 a Filipino American Pedro Flores started the Yo-Yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara,
The Erector Set
   was created by   
A.C. Gilbert
Invented by in 1911 and made by the A. C. Gilbert Company at the Erector Square factory in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1913 until its bankruptcy in 1967. It consisted of collections of small metal beams with regular holes for nuts, bolts, screws, and mechanical parts such as pulleys, gears, and small electric motors. Its British counterpart was Meccano which was invented in England in 1901 by Frank Hornby and manufactured by Meccano Ltd from 1908 to 1980. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
The Etch-A-Sketch
   was created by   
André Cassagnes
A mechanical drawing toy invented by French electrician André Cassagnes in the 1950s and originally called Telecran ("tele-screen") because it resembled a television screen. It was marketed in the US starting in 1960 as Etch-A-Sketch by the Ohio Art Company. . 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
The Frisbee
   was created by   
Richard Knerr
Originally created by Walter Frederick Morrison as the Whirlo-Way as a flying disc in 1946 it was marketed as the Flyin-Saucer. In 1955 Morrison made a plastic disc called the Pluto Platter. Wham-O Mfg bought Morrison's design in 1957. The name Frisbee was chosen by Wham-O co-founder Richard Knerr in 1957 after hearing that East Coast college students were calling the Pluto Platters by that name. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
Glass Marbles
   was created by   
Martin Frederick Christensen
An ancient invention first made in clay in the 1890s and machine manufactured in glass by Martin Frederick Christensen in Akron, Ohio on his patented machine starting in 1903. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
The Hula-Hoop
   was created by   
David Tolmer
First manufactured by Toltoys of Australia founded by David Tolmer in 1957 as a plastic hoop that twirled around the waist. introduced in the US by Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin co-founders of Wham-O in 1958. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
   was created by   
Ole Kirk Christiansen
Originally called “Automatic Binding Bricks”. based largely on the design of Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, which were released in the United Kingdom in 1947. Made by The Lego Group founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen a carpenter from Billund, Denmark in 1949. the name "lego" was coined by Christiansen from the Danish phrase "leg godt", which means "play well". 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
Lincoln Logs
   was created by   
John Lloyd Wright
Invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1918, they were marketed by the Red Square Toy Company and by John Lloyd Wright, Incorporated of Chicago, Illinois. a toy consisting of notched miniature logs. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
   was created by   
Charles Darrow
Based on a game patented in 1904 as “The Landlord’s Game” by a Quaker woman Elizabeth Magie Phillips who created a game to explain the single tax theory of Henry George and to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies. Monopoly was patented in 1935 by Charles Darrow and manufactured by Parker Brothers. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
Mr. Potato Head
   was created by   
Henry Hassenfeld & Merrill Hassenfeld
Based on a 1949 idea by George Lerner of Brooklyn, New York who thought of inserting small pronged body and face parts into fruits and vegetables. Mr. Potato Head was launched by Henry and Merrill Hassenfeld after buying the rights to the idea from Lerner in 1952. 2000 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
   was created by   
McVickers, McVickers & Rhodenbaugh
Originally a pliable, putty-like wallpaper cleaner concocted by Noah McVicker for Kutol Products of Cincinnati, Ohio. His nephew Joseph McVicker found nursery school students using the product to make Christmas ornaments. The McVickers along with Bill Rhodenbaugh reworked the product and named it Play-Doh marketing and distributing it through Rainbow Crafts in 1955. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
The Radio Flyer Wagon
   was created by   
Antonio Pasin
Antonio Pasin began making wooden toy wagons in Chicago in 1917. He formed the Liberty Coaster Company in 1923 and renamed in 1930 Radio Steel & Manufacturing which produced the first steel wagon. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
Roller Skates
   was created by   
John Joseph Merlin
Patented by Belgian John Joseph Merlin in 1760. Improvement followed with the rocking skate invented by American James Plimpton in 1863 which allowed skaters to turn easily around corners. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
Silly Putty
   was created by   
Earl Warrick, Harvey Chin & James Wright
Developed in 1943 during World War II by reacting boric acid with silicone oil. Invention of it is disputed but attributed to Earl Warrick of Dow-Corning, Harvey Chin and James Wright, a Scottish inventor working for General Electric. It was an attempt to make a synthetic rubber product since natural rubber production was cut off by the Japanese during the war. 2001 inductee into The National Toy Hall Of Fame
The Slinky
   was created by   
Clay Watson
In 1943 US Navy engineer Clay Watson working on springs that could support and stabilize sensitive instruments aboard ships on rough seas noticed one of these spring "stepped" in a series of arcs from a shelf to a stack of books to a table top and to the floor where it re-coiled itself and stood upright. It was first introduced in 1946 at the American Toy Fair. 2000 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
The Teddy Bear
   was created by   
Morris Michtom
Created by Morris Michtom in 1903 after seeing a political cartoon about President Theodore Roosevelt and a bear cub in The Washington Post published on November 16, 1902. The President granted him permission to market the toy as the teddy bear. It was sold through Ideal Novelty and Toy Co. founded by Michtom. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
   was created by   
Charles H. Pajeau & Robert Pettit
Created by Charles H. Pajeau and Robert Pettit in 1914 in Evanston, Illinois. Pajeau who was a stonemason was inspired to create Tinkertoys after seeing children playing with pencils and empty spools of thread. Pettit and Pajeau marketed them as The Tinkertoy Construction Set. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame
The View-Master
   was created by   
William Gruber & Harold Graves
Introduced at the 1939 New York World’s Fair by William Gruber and Harold Graves. It was an updated version of the stereoscope using 16-mm Kodachrome color film. The US military purchased 100,000 Viewmasters and nearly six million disks for use in personal training during World War II. 1999 inductee into The National Toy Hall of Fame

Facts contributed by:

Allan R. Matthes

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