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Play-Doh

Play-Doh

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Play-Doh is a modeling compound
Modelling clay
You can use modelling clay to create items with it. The material compositions and production processes vary considerably. -Ceramic clay:...

 used by young children for art and craft projects at home and in school. Composed of flour
Flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...

, water
Water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

, salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

, boric acid
Boric acid
Boric acid, also called hydrogen borate or boracic acid or orthoboric acid or acidum boricum, is a weak acid of boron often used as an antiseptic, insecticide, flame retardant, as a neutron absorber, and as a precursor of other chemical compounds. It exists in the form of colorless crystals or a...

, and mineral oil, the product was first manufactured in Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio. Cincinnati is the county seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located to north of the Ohio River at the Ohio-Kentucky border, near Indiana. The population within city limits is 296,943 according to the 2010 census, making it Ohio's...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s. When a classroom of children began using the wallpaper cleaner as a modeling compound, the product was reworked and marketed to Cincinnati schools in the mid-1950s. Play-Doh was demonstrated at an educational convention in 1956 and prominent department stores opened retail accounts. Advertisements promoting Play-Doh on influential children's television shows in 1957 furthered the product's sales. Since its launch on the toy market in the mid-1950s, Play-Doh has generated a considerable amount of ancillary merchandise such as The Fun Factory. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association
Toy Industry Association
The Toy Industry Association is a trade association that promotes the marketing of new toys, games, and puzzles. The organization usually has trade shows at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City during February. Consumers in general are not able to attend...

 named Play-Doh to its "Century of Toys List".

Origin



The non-toxic, non-staining, reusable modeling compound that came to be known as Play-Doh was originally a pliable, putty-like wallpaper cleaner concocted by Noah McVicker for Kutol Products, a family-owned Cincinnati-based soap company. Following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, McVicker's nephew, Joseph McVicker, joined Kutol and discovered the wallpaper cleaner was being used by nursery school children to make Christmas ornaments.

Launch


Joe McVicker took Play-Doh to an educational convention for manufacturers of school supplies, and Woodward & Lothrop
Woodward & Lothrop
Woodward & Lothrop was a department store chain headquartered in Washington, D.C. Woodward & Lothrop was Washington, D.C.'s first department store, opening in 1887. Woodies, as it was often nicknamed, maintained stores in the Mid-Atlantic United States...

, a department store in Washington, DC began selling the compound. In 1956, the McVickers formed the Rainbow Crafts Company to make and sell Play-Doh. Also in 1956, a three-pack of 7-ounce cans was added to the product line, and, after in-store demonstrations, Macy's
Macy's
Macy's is a U.S. chain of mid-to-high range department stores. In addition to its flagship Herald Square location in New York City, the company operates over 800 stores in the United States...

 of New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and Marshall Field's
Marshall Field's
Marshall Field & Company was a department store in Chicago, Illinois that grew to become a major chain before being acquired by Macy's Inc...

 of Chicago opened retail accounts. In 1957, chemist Dr. Tien Liu reduced Play Doh's salt content (thus allowing models to dry without losing their color), and Play-Doh ads were telecast on Captain Kangaroo
Captain Kangaroo
Captain Kangaroo is a children's television series which aired weekday mornings on the American television network CBS for nearly 30 years, from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running children's television program of its day...

, Ding Dong School
Ding Dong School
Ding Dong School, billed as "the Nursery school of the air", is a half-hour children's TV show which began on WNBQ-TV in Chicago, Illinois a few months before its four-year run on NBC ....

, and Romper Room
Romper Room
Romper Room is a children's television series that ran in the United States from 1953 to 1994 as well as at various times in Australia, Canada, Japan, Puerto Rico, New Zealand and the United Kingdom...

. In 1958, Play-Doh's sales reached nearly $3 million.

Subsequent developments


In 1964, Play-Doh was exported to England, France, and Italy, and, in the 1980s, its cardboard can (with a rust-prone metal bottom) was scuttled for a more cost effective plastic container. By 1965, Rainbow Crafts was issued a patent for Play-Doh. Also in 1965, General Mills
General Mills
General Mills, Inc. is an American Fortune 500 corporation, primarily concerned with food products, which is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The company markets many well-known brands, such as Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Colombo, Totinos, Jeno's, Pillsbury, Green...

 purchased Rainbow Crafts and all rights to Play-Doh for $3 million, placing the compound with its Kenner Products subsidiary. In 1971, Rainbow Crafts and Kenner Products merged, and, in 1987, the Tonka Corporation bought the two. In 1991, Hasbro
Hasbro
Hasbro is a multinational toy and boardgame company from the United States of America. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States...

 became Play-Doh's owner, and continues to manufacture the product today through its Playskool
Playskool
Playskool is an American company that produces educational toys and games for children. It is a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and is headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.-History:...

 division. In 1996, gold and silver were added to Play-Doh's palette to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Mascots


Play-Doh packaging was briefly illustrated with children in the mid-1950s, but replaced by an elfin mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

 which, in 1960, was superseded by Play-Doh Pete, a smock and beret-wearing cartoonish boy. In 2002, Play-Doh Pete's beret was replaced with a baseball cap.

Ingredients


Play-Doh's current manufacturer, Hasbro
Hasbro
Hasbro is a multinational toy and boardgame company from the United States of America. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States...

, reveals the compound contains water, salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

, and wheat flour
Wheat flour
Wheat flour is a powder made from the grinding of wheat used for human consumption. More wheat flour is produced than any other flour. Wheat varieties are called "clean," "white," or "brown" if they have high gluten content, and they are called "soft" or "weak" flour if gluten content is low...

, while its 2004 United States patent indicates it is composed of water, a starch-based binder, a retrogradation
Retrogradation (starch)
Retrogradation is a reaction that takes place in gelatinized starch when the amylose and amylopectin chains realign themselves, causing the liquid to gel....

 inhibitor, salt, lubricant, surfactant
Surfactant
Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension of a liquid, the interfacial tension between two liquids, or that between a liquid and a solid...

, preservative
Preservative
A preservative is a naturally occurring or synthetically produced substance that is added to products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, paints, biological samples, wood, etc. to prevent decomposition by microbial growth or by undesirable chemical changes....

, hardener, humectant
Humectant
A humectant is a hygroscopic substance. It is often a molecule with several hydrophilic groups, most often hydroxyl groups, but amines and carboxyl groups, sometimes esterified, can be encountered as well; the affinity to form hydrogen bonds with molecules of water is crucial here.Since...

, fragrance, and color. A petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 additive gives the compound a smooth feel, and borax
Borax
Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.Borax has a wide variety of uses...

 prevents mold from developing.

Usage


Play-Doh is a nontoxic, easy-to-use, easy-to-clean up modeling compound packaged in a variety of colors used principally by children for arts and crafts projects at home and in school. Besides being hand-molded into animals, flowers, and other objects, Play-Doh can be sent through extruders created for the purpose to produce rope-like strands of different shapes. Besides molding and extruding, children simply enjoy squashing, mashing, and rolling the compound.

In addition to children's projects and play, a replica of Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

's Monticello
Monticello
Monticello is a National Historic Landmark just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia; it is...

 has been constructed with more than 2,500 bricks of Play-Doh, and, to celebrate Play-Doh's fiftieth anniversary in 2006, a larger-than-life birthday cake with more than 40 pounds of Play-Doh as its main ingredient was "baked" at New York City's American International Toy Fair
American International Toy Fair
The American International Toy Fair is one of a few major toy industry trade shows held around the world. It is held annually in mid February in New York City's Toy Center, located at 23rd Street at the crossover of Fifth Avenue and Broadway and at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and is...

 by Warren Brown, host of Food Network
Food Network
Food Network is a television specialty channel that airs both one-time and recurring programs about food and cooking. Scripps Networks Interactive owns 70 percent of the network, with Tribune Company controlling the remaining 30 percent....

's Sugar Rush.

Related merchandise


In 1960, the Play-Doh Fun Factory (a toy press that extrudes the compound in various shapes) was invented by Bob Boggild and Bill Dale. The Play-Doh Fuzzy Pumper Barber & Beauty Shop of 1977 featured a figurine whose extruded "hair" could be styled. Making its debut in 1996 for computer-savvy young modelers was an educational software CD-ROM game, Play-Doh Creations, and, in 2003, the Play-Doh Creativity Table was made available. Play-Doh related merchandise introduced during the 2007 anniversary year included the Play-Doh Birthday Bucket, the Play-Doh Fifty Colors Pack, the Fuzzy Pumper Crazy Cuts (a reworking of the 1977 Fuzzy Pumper Barber & Beauty Shop), and the Play-Doh Creativity Center.

Cultural impact


More than two billion cans of Play-Doh were sold between 1955 and 2005, and, in 2005, Play-doh was being sold in 75 countries around the world at 95 million cans a year.

To mark Play-Doh's fiftieth anniversary, Demeter Fragrance Library
Demeter Fragrance Library
DemeterFL, Inc. is a Great Neck, New York company that sells fragrances based on familiar, "everyday" scents, such as dirt, tomatoes, and chocolate chip cookies. The fragrances are intended to be an evocative, "idealized" representation of these scents, which Demeter calls "single experience...

 created a limited-edition fragrance inspired by Play-Doh's odor for "highly-creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood."

Play-Doh was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame
National Toy Hall of Fame
The National Toy Hall of Fame is an American hall of fame that recognizes the contributions of toys and games that have sustained their popularity for many years...

 at The Strong
The Strong
The Strong is an interactive, collections-based educational institution in Rochester, New York, USA, devoted to the study and exploration of play...

 in Rochester, New York
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

, in 1998.

In 2003, the Toy Industry Association
Toy Industry Association
The Toy Industry Association is a trade association that promotes the marketing of new toys, games, and puzzles. The organization usually has trade shows at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City during February. Consumers in general are not able to attend...

 placed Play-Doh into its "Century of Toys List", a roll call of the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the twentieth century.

In 2011, the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 had a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is a game in which the organizers prepare a list defining specific items, using which the participants — individuals or teams — seek to gather all items on the list — usually without purchasing them — or perform tasks or take photographs of the items, as specified...

 for going from the Play-Doh
Play-Doh
Play-Doh is a modeling compound used by young children for art and craft projects at home and in school. Composed of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and mineral oil, the product was first manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s...

 page to the Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

page only using wikipedia links.

External links