Silly Putty (also known as Nutty Putty) is a trademark owned by Crayola for silicone polymers. The products are sold today in grocery stores and shopping malls as toys for children. Additionally, silicone polymers have important scientific and medical uses. Most physical therapists use the polymers for the treatments of hand injuries. Aside from this, the materials are also helpful for reducing stress level. Above all, these were used to secure the things inside the spaceship of Apollo astronauts when they reached zero-gravity areas in the orbit. To know more about the product, let us start with the person who was credited for Silly Putty.
History of the Trademark
Who invented Silly Putty? Some reports said that it was Dow Corning owner Earl Warrick developed silicone polymers but Crayola believed that Scottish inventor James Wright invented the material in 1943. Both Warrick and Wright realized that when silicone oil and boric acid were combined, these would produce certain chemical reaction. The reaction would produce a bouncy and gooey material that has numerous unique characteristics or properties. It could be stretched out like the regular rubber and it could bounce like a ball when it was dropped. In addition, the researchers found that the material has a high melting temperature.
To make money out of the invention, Wright sent samples of silicone polymers to various companies in the world. In 1949, toy store owner Ruth Fallgatter marketed the material in a clear package for $2. The item was the best-selling item in the store next to Crayola crayons. Fallgatter’s marketing consultant Peter Hodgson saw the potential of the product. He marketed the putty in plastic eggs and he offered the toys to the students of Yale University for $1. He called the item Silly Putty. Hodgson was able to sell 250,000 putties in three days.
To promote the product, Hodgson released a television advertisement for the merchandise in 1955. After six years, he marketed the product in the different parts of the world. It became popular in various countries including Switzerland, Netherlands and Germany. When Hodgson passed away in 1976, Crayola owners acquired the rights to manufacture the Silly Putty.
Crayola earned big profits from the product in 1987, since it could sell at least 2 million of Silly Putty in a year. The popularity of the item continued in the 1990s and 2000s. To improve the sales of the firms, it created a special website for the product and allowed consumers to purchase the items online.