Monday, November 24, 2008

Did You Have A Slinky?

I have such great memories of my childhood and playing with my slinky. I've even purchased a slinky for my four year old. Every kid should have a slinky. I just heard on the news tonight that Betty James, who was the co-founder of the amazing slinky, passed away last Thursday, November 20, 2008. I was reading a little about her in the New York times today. What an amazing life she lived. She defied all odds of being a single mom working in a mans world, which was difficult in the 1950's. She is such and inspiration to me, as I'm sure to many women in this country. Slinky is one of the few toys that is still made right here in the USA. I've included an article from The New York Times about her and her amazing life.

Betty James, who co-founded the company that made the Slinky and beat the odds as a single mother in the late 1950s to become a successful executive, has died. She was 90.

She died Thursday, said a spokeswoman for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

In 1945, James and her husband at the time, Richard, founded the company that would later make Slinky, the toy for which she was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2001.

She took over management of James Industries Inc. 14 years after the company was founded, after her husband left her to follow a religious cult in Bolivia. Richard James died in 1974.

Initially, James would leave her six children with a caregiver from Sunday through Thursday while she oversaw operations in Philadelphia. But in 1965, she moved the company to her hometown of Hollidaysburg, where although it was sold in 1998 to Michigan-based POOF Products Inc., it remains today.

''She was an icon in the community because of that business,'' Blair County Commissioner Diane Meling said. ''What kid didn't grow up with a Slinky?''

Hundreds of millions of Slinkys have been sold worldwide. James explained the classic toy's success in a 1995 interview with The Associated Press.

''I think really it's the simplicity of it,'' she said. ''There's nothing to wind up; it doesn't take batteries. I think also the price helps. More children can play with it than a $40 or $60 toy.''

On its Web site, the Hall of Fame praises James for commitment and perseverance that ''allowed children the world over the opportunity to relish the ingenuity and pure fun of a Slinky.''


Information from: Altoona Mirror
and The New York Times

Thanks to youtube for the great reminder of my childhood.


  1. Yes I sure do remember the Slinky, mine was medal and just silver.

  2. I loved my silver slinky … and methinks it’s a wonderful toy for kids today! What fun information you’ve shared here. Thanks … and have a Happy Thanksgiving Day! I’ll be back tomorrow or the next day to catch up but I was away from home all day today and BUSY yesterday, so I apologize for falling behind.
    Hugs and blessings,


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