The widely popular modelling compound, Play-Doh has an interesting story behind it. Play doh was originally a wallpaper cleaner! Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
Noah McVicker who owned Kutol Products in Ohio, manufactured a wallpaper cleaner which was a putty like substance made from flour, water, salt, boric acid and mineral oil. It was aimed at removing coal stains from wallpapers. As coal furnaces were replaced with oil and gas furnaces, the demand for the cleaner dwindled over the years.
Joseph McVicker, Noah’s nephew, joined Kutol in 1950s. His sister-in-law was a teacher in nursery school. She realised that the cleaner could be used as a modelling compound and children loved making toys with it. Joseph and Noah formed Rainbow Crafts company in 1956 and started marketing the product under the name ‘Play-Doh’. Advertising the product on popular children’s TV shows like ‘Captain Kangaroo’ skyrocketed the sales to $3 million within one year.
The play doh remains as popular today as it was 60 years ago!