We’ve got a great throwback blog post for you today that we’re sure will bring up some pretty nostalgic memories of your childhood… Our post today is all about everyone’s favorite springy childhood toy, the Slinky.

Incredibly over 300 million Slinkys have been sold since their creation in 1943 but what is even more incredible is the fact that it was invented completely by accident.

Richard James, a naval mechanical engineer was the man behind one of the hottest toys of the 20th century and invented the Slinky when he was developing springs that could support and stabilize sensitive equipment aboard rough seas. James knocked over a spring from a shelf and watched it ‘step’ across some books, over the table and then onto the floor where it then re-coiled itself. From that moment on James knew he was onto something special and spent the next year experimenting with different types of steel wire until he found the perfect one that could move all by itself.

James then turned to his wife, Betty, to come up with a name for his new toy and after Betty spotted the word slinky (which means sleek and graceful) in the dictionary, the name was decided.

The couple then invested all of their money into the production of Slinkys, at first sales were slow but once James spent an afternoon at Gimbles Department Store demonstrating all the fun that could be had with the toy the first 400 units sold out and the Slinky became a national phenomenon. Pretty impressive that an accidental spring went on to be one of the most wanted and well remembered toys of the 20th century.

Now of course we know what Slinkys do best, walking down stairs all by themselves but there are some other pretty cool videos floating around the internet showing other fun things that Slinkys can do. And because we’re nice like that we’ve posted them down below. So go home and dig out your old Slinky, impress all your friends with the new tricks you’ve learnt and you can thank us later.

This guy seems to be the absolute master of cool Slinky tricks!

We bet you didn’t know you could do Kung Fu with a Slinky? (Neither did we to be honest) but this guy combines Kung Fu with a multi-colored Slinky and it looks pretty awesome.

Thought Slinky’s were only good at walking down stairs on their own? Well think again…

Header Image

Ryk Neethling / Flickr.com

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