You are currently viewing Slinky Day!

Slinky Day!

Today we celebrated a popular toy during the old days, but still popular among kids and young adults to this days, the Slinky.  This day is observed annually on August 28th.

Slinky is a quintessential childhood toy and an icon. It has captivated kids with its ability to walk downstairs (alone or in pairs), making that classic Slinky sound! For years children, parents, and grandparents have enjoyed the childhood memories invoked by the original metal spring toy that has always been Made in the USA.

The Slinky was invented and developed by BTS Richard T. James in 1943 and demonstrated at Gimbels department store in Philadelphia in November 1945. The toy was a hit, selling its entire inventory of 400 units in ninety minutes. James and his wife Betty formed James Industries in Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania to manufacture Slinky and several related toys such as the Slinky Dog and Suzie, the Slinky Worm. In 1960, James’s wife Betty became president of James Industries, and, in 1964, moved the operation back to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. In 1998, Betty James sold the company to Poof Products, Inc.

Originally you could buy a Slinky for just $1, but many paid more due to the price increases of spring steel throughout the state of Pennsylvania; it has, however, remained modestly priced throughout its history as a result of Betty James’ concern about the toy’s affordability for poor customers.

Slinky has been used other than as a toy in the playroom: it has appeared in the classroom as a teaching tool, in wartime as a radio antenna, and in physics experiments with NASA.  Slinky was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York, in 2000.  In 2003, Slinky was named on the Toy Industry Association‘s “Century of Toys List”.  In its first 60 years, Slinky sold 300 million units.

Nowadays, Slinky continues to celebrate a tradition of timeless entertainment with Slinky’s of different sizes, colors, and materials; that light up, make noise; and even one who goes on adventures with his Toy Story Pals!

So, today, celebrate this day by playing with your Slinky, I am pretty sure you have one stash in your toy box, if not, you can always buy one from your local big-box store or online.  Share on social media a photo of your Slinky toy using #SlinkyDay.

1980 Christopher Cross has his first of two #1 hits with “Sailing”

The music video that famously played during MTV’s first minutes on the air was “Video Killed The Radio Star,” by the British synth-pop duo The Buggles. Four weeks later, a young American singer-songwriter named Christopher Cross completed a meteoric rise from obscurity when his hit ballad “Sailing” reached the top of the Billboard pop chart on August 30, 1980. In the years since many observers have linked the first of these two events to the eventual decline of the man who accomplished the second. But even if MTV is what “killed” the radio star Christopher Cross, it did so only after he accomplished a run of success as great and unexpected as any in pop history.

Released on January 1980, Cross’s self-titled debut album was one of the biggest soft-rock hits of all time. The first single was “Ride Like The Wind,” which featured a memorable backup vocal by Doobie Brothers singer Michael McDonald and rose to #2 on the pop charts the following summer. “Sailing” was the follow-up single, and it rose even faster and higher, hitting #1 on this day in 1980. It also transformed Christopher Cross from a complete unknown to the biggest name in pop almost overnight, propelling him to a still-unmatched sweep at the 1981 Grammy Awards, where “Sailing” won Grammys for Best Record and Best Song, Christopher Cross won for Best Album and Cross himself won for Best New Artist. Cross would have another #1 pop hit later that year with “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do),” co-written with Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager and winner of the 1982 Oscar for Best Song. But Cross’s next top-10 hit, “Think Of Laura” (1983), would be his last.

(excerpted from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/christopher-cross-has-his-first-of-two-1-hits-with-sailing)