NATIONAL PLAY-DOH DAY!
Officially called a “modeling compound,” Play-Doh was the invention of Noah McVicker while working for the Cincinnati-based soap manufacturer Kutol Products.
Originally developed in 1956 as a compound to (!) remove coal residue from wallpaper, the addition of salt by chemist Dr. Tien Liu allowed the clay-like substance to dry without losing its color, and gave it that funky taste that little kids love.
As a child’s modeling toy, Play-Doh became such a marketing sensation that the Kutol company was purchased by Rainbow Crafts and was soon a household name in households with small children. It was never ideal for intricate sculpture, but perfect for your average peewee with more imagination than artistic talent.
Play-Doh stayed soft and malleable if you stored it in its little cans, so a child could use it over and over again, either mashing it up by hand or squeezing it into the little flower-shaped molds that were sold separately. Its distinctive smell and vibrant colors are fondly remembered, even if no one ever made anything worthwhile with the stuff.
•Suggested Activities: Making lumpy little mounds and calling them puppies.