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Play-Doh is a popular modelling product for children. It is made from water, salt and wheat flour and so has a texture that is similar to that of bread dough. Although it has been sold throughout the world since the 1950s, the exact formula for the compound still remains top secret.
Brothers, Noah and Joseph McVicker, invented Play-Doh in 1956. Joseph’s sister-in-law was a teacher in Cincinnati, USA, who wanted a fun and safe alternative to clay modelling. Joseph sent her a sample of a compound that had been around since the 1930s that was used as a wallpaper cleaner. The product was a hit and so it was reworked and sold as Play-doh through a new company formed by the McVicker brothers called Rainbow Crafts. Originally Play-doh was only available in one colour and that was off-white.
Other colours began to be introduced in 1957 and in 1960 the Fun Factory was added to the product line. Bob Boggild and Bill Dale invented the original version of the Fun Factory. It is simply a device in which you put your Play-Doh and then press down on the material causing it to be pushed out of the end in a variety of different shapes.
Play-Doh is reusable. It remains soft and pliable if it is stored in a cool place in its sealed container when not in use. The manufacturers advise that if necessary, water can be added one drop at a time to restore the softness of the material. When exposed to air it will harden within a day.
16th September 2011 is National Play-Doh Day so why not celebrate by treating yourself to this popular and creative toy