Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ah, these eccentric geniuses!

In this article about classic toys, we learn some curious facts about the inventor of the Slinky.
An American invention, the Slinky was dreamed up by naval engineer Richard T. James, who hit upon the idea while working at a shipyard in Pittsburgh. Over 300 million have been sold in its 60-year history, earning James a fortune...which he abandoned in 1960 when he went nuts and disappeared to join a Bolivian religious cult.
Bolivia. The graveyard of many a good man.


RebeccaH said...

I love Slinkies, and in fact, keep one beside my computer. That jingle sound is soothing, as is the tactile sensation of kinetic coils against the palm as it "stacks" from hand to hand.

Yes, I am a Slinkie Geek.

Loved Etch-a-Sketch as a kid, but that was more my younger siblings era. My earlier years were marked by a fascination with a little cardboard clipboard device that had a waxy black surface, overlaid by a sheet of waxed paper, and came with a wooden stylus (it even had its own little push-rest at the top of the board). You could draw pictures on the top sheet with the stylus, the lines of which adhered to the black undersurface, and when you were tired of the picture, you pulled the top sheet up, erasing everything. That was one of the post-WWII Japanese junk toys, I believe (now wholly owned by China, although they don't bother themselves with such low-tech gewgaws).

rinardman said...

Ha, I had one of those drawing pads, too, Rebecca. What was it called? I don't remember.

My younger brother got a Etch-a-Sketch, but I played with it some, too. The novelty wore off pretty quick, as I recall. Same with the Slinky, except for sending it down the stairs.

Yojimbo said...

So his mind uncoiled and he subsequently slinked off to Bolivia because he never recoiled from the thought of a religious cult.

Minicapt said...

Then you'll really not like this:


Minicapt said...




jonah said...

At least, yojimbo he was never embroiled
In a cult that doth labor, enslaving the woyld
Like Che, that Heydrich wannabe son of a bitch.

James might have been goofy,
Mind may have been roiled
But why bother mocking
Poor bastard unsoiled
By envy, greed, sins of the rich?

TimT said...

Slinkies, you say?

RebeccaH said...

Btw, Paco, here's a book review you might enjoy.

Paco said...

Rebecca: ripping good review! Thanks.