Is it true or false that Play-Doh was originally invented as a toy? False. The putty-like substance was concocted by 23 year old Noah McVicker for Kutol Products in 1927 to clean soot from walls. But, by the 1950s homes had switched from coal to gas or oil heat, and the newer wallpapers were being made from easier-to-clean vinyl, so there was no longer a need for such a product.
Joseph McVicker, Noah’s nephew, learned from a teacher that younger children had trouble manipulating modeling clay, so he decided to send a few cans of the nontoxic, pliant compound to the school. It was such a big hit with both the kids and teachers that he supplied it to every school in Cincinnati.
Play-Doh – Not Just Wall Cleaner Anymore
In 1956, he and his uncle Noah created the Rainbow Crafts Company to sell this new clay, which they dubbed “Play-Doh.” The first Play-Doh compound came only in an off-white, but by 1957, three new colors joined the Play-Doh line – yellow, red and blue – and the three-can pack was introduced. Early TV advertising features were Captain Kangaroo and Miss Frances on Ding Dong School. By 1972 Play-Doh had recorded the production of the 500,000,000th can.
A limited-edition Play-Doh-scented cologne was released in May 2006, in honor of its 50th birthday, along with the Play-Doh Birthday Bucket and the Play-Doh 50 Pack of colors that includes six new super pastel colors. In addition, the ever popular Play-Doh Fuzzy Pumper Barber & Beauty Shop playset returned.