With long-standing legacies as award-winning products that ignite kids’ imaginations, both Slinky and Shrinky Dinks will continue to inspire creativity and innovation with new products from Just Play arriving at retailers this fall. On the evening of November 27, 1945, James showed shoppers how the Slinky could walk down an incline. With the help of live demonstrations, they sold out of all 400 Slinkys in just two hours. Davis is represented by Verve, 3 Arts Entertainment and law firm Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler, Feldman & Clark. "A further purpose is to provide a helical spring toy which will walk on an amusement platform such as an inclined plane or set of steps from a starting point to successive lower landing points without application of external force beyond the starting force and the action of gravity.". “We are very excited to add the beloved and celebrated Slinky and Shrinky Dinks brands and team members to Just Play’s family,” said Geoffrey Greenberg, Co-President of Just Play. Just Play is reopening the Hollidaysburg, PA facility where Slinky and Shrinky Dinks are produced and rehiring employees to maintain all U.S. based jobs and manufacturing. Scott, Sharon M. Toys and American Culture: An Encyclopedia. “She will elevate the storytelling to a new level with Betty James point of view in the foreground and the iconic Slinky toy as the co-star.”, Davis has directed numerous TV episodes, such as “Dead to Me,” “The Politician,” “Santa Clarita Diet” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” She also worked with Spike Jonze on the music documentary “Keep Your Eyes Open.”. His stock of 400, priced at $1 each, sold out in ninety minutes. By 1960, though, the company was struggling with sagging sales and debt. The history is missing a piece. He left behind the business, his wife, and six children aged 2 to 18. Slinky® has been the official state toy of Pennsylvania (where it was created) since 2001! She leafed through a dictionary and picked “slinky,” meaning graceful in movement. James had a Philadelphia piston-ring firm make about 450 Slinkys, and a big break came in 1945 when Gimbels department store, a giant of the Market Street East retail corridor, agreed to try out the Slinky during the Christmas rush. “Slinky has been one of the most popular toys for generations,” said Just Play co-president Geoffrey Greenberg. Later, production moved to Clifton Heights in Delaware County. Jeff Gammage is a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer. This drawing of the Slinky showing how it would move down a stepped structure is among the illustrations submitted by Richard James in his patent application in 1946. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Richard James shocked his family by announcing that he was going to Bolivia to join the evangelical Wycliffe Bible Translators. © Copyright 2020 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. Poof-Slinky factory, Hollidaysburg, Pa. (not open to tours). Slinky was invented and made famous by Richard and Betty James, a U.S. Navy mechanical engineer and his wife, who first introduced it to Christmas shoppers at the Gimbels department store in Philadelphia in 1945. the first employee in Bellwood was hired may 8 1961. BTS to Perform at Mnet Asian Music Awards, Elsa Raven, ‘Back to the Future’ Actor, Dies at 91, Kanye West to Be MIA on ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ After Tiny Voter Turnout, Hollywood Mocks ‘Fox News Sucks’ Chants, Ballot Counting Chaos: ‘It’s Like an Episode of Veep’, Bernie Sanders Predicted Donald Trump’s Election Night Tactics One Week Ago, Andy Samberg’s ‘Palm Springs’ to Debut on Amazon in Key International Markets, Khloe Kardashian Sells $15.5 Million Calabasas Mansion to Dhar Mann, Election 2020: Presidential Results by State, Warner Bros. 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The Jameses rented factory space in Germantown, where the new James Industries operated six machines turning out 100 Slinkys an hour. I know this because my Mother In Law worked at the Bellwood plant making the slinky. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-Clio/Greenwood, 2009. In an era dominated by male CEOs, Betty James held her own and helped turn the Slinky into a must-have item for kids. By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Principal photography is expected to begin in 2021. Both Slinky and Shrinky Dinks are recognized by TIME® Magazine as two of the Top-All Time 100 Greatest Toys. Watch your Original Slinky® walk its way down stairs or just juggle it back and forth in your hands! A spring a spring, a marvelous thing. Betty James’ life is a moment in American history where women proved they could not only survive in the face of despair but flourish when the opportunity presented itself. Slinky Patent Application Illustration. Invented by accident in a Philadelphia shipyard, the Slinky is a stack of coiled metal that becomes a bit of oscillating magic, a moving, traveling toy perfect for flipping head-over-heels to “walk” down stairs. Though the Slinky was created by Richard James, the film will center on his wife Betty James, who took over the struggling business after her husband left her with their six children and a nearly bankrupt company. Former site of James Industries, Portico Street (Germantown), Philadelphia. Former site of Cramp Shipyard, Norris and Richmond Streets, Philadelphia. Her embrace of national advertising made the Slinky jingle familiar: What walks down stairsalone or in pairs and makes a slinkety sound? A standard Slinky cost $4.99, but buyers did not have to settle for steel: a 14k-gold-plated version was available for $149.99. “Tamra was an instant and instinctual choice for us to helm this film,” Rubino said. This drawing of the Slinky showing how it would move down steps is among the illustrations submitted by Richard James in his patent application. In 1963, she mortgaged her house to push the Slinky at the New York Toy Fair, attracting new orders and attention. This drawing of the Slinky showing how it would move down a stepped structure is among the illustrations submitted by Richard James in his patent application in 1946. Betty James died in Philadelphia at age 90 in 2008.