Who invented Play-Doh?
In 1956, Noah W. and Joseph S. McVicker of the Rainbow Crafts Company received U.S. patent number 3,167,440 for a pliable plastic modeling composition called Play-Doh. Although the Patent Office claims that the compound was originally designed as a wallpaper cleaner, Home & Garden Television states that Joe McVicker created the soft, reusable, non-toxic "clay" for his sister's preschool class. Play-Doh was first sold by Rainbow Crafts in the toy department of Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington, D.C. Even though it only came in off-white (primary colors were introduced in 1957), Play-Doh was an immediate hit.
In 1965, General Mills purchased the Rainbow Crafts Company, and in 1970, Rainbow Crafts was merged into General Mills' Kenner Products line. Over the years, the company introduced many new colors and Play-Doh toys. The Tonka Corporation purchased the Kenner line in 1987, and Play-Doh's current owner, Hasbro, purchased Tonka in 1991 -- the year Play-Doh celebrated its 35th birthday.
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