ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History of Play-doh

Updated on February 21, 2012

Play-doh

Play-doh now comes in many colors.
Play-doh now comes in many colors.

Play-doh's Beginnig

Play-doh is a very interesting product. This is one of the best from rags to riches to rags to riches again stories ever. The start of Play-doh's story starts out as a cleaner actually. In 1912 the company Kutol Products Company was founded. By the year 1927, Kutol Products was facing closure with no prospects. Cleo McVicker hired his brother Noah on to manage the plant. Cleo decided to try on the hat of sales and became the companies salesman. Noah didn't only run the plant he was supposed to help develop new products as well.

Rags to Riches

1933 rolls around and Cleo pitches a wallpaper cleaner to Kroger, a grocery store chain. Kroger decides to go with Kutol for a wallpaper cleaner to replace their current wallpaper cleaner. The fun part of this information is that Cleo agreed to fifteen thousand cases of the cleaner. A cleaner that Kutol had never made and on top of this, if Kutol was late in delivery of the wallpaper cleaner the company would pay Kroger five thousand dollars in fines. An amount that doesn't seem like a lot today, but with the unstable financial foundation of Kutol - this amount would have bankrupted the company. Cleo McVicker was a man that had some steel in him. Kutol did make the deadline and this is possibly what led Kutol Products Company to be the largest wallpaper cleaner manufacturer in the world for the next twenty years.

Play-doh is almost never released

Now the 1950s approach and fewer and fewer people are using coal to heat their houses. With the use of natural gas, oil, and electric heat there is less need to clean wallpaper because the new methods are cleaner. And once again, Kutol was facing closure. And the precursor to all this is that in 1949 Cleo had died in a plane crash. With the company spiraling down, Cleo's wife, Irma McVicker, hires her son Joseph McVicker and son-in-law Bill Rhodenbaugh to change the company around and save it. Joseph talking with his sister-in-law was told that her students needed a better modeling clay to work with because they were too young for the hard and barely pliable clay. Joseph's mind was at work with this and in 1955 he tested some of the wallpaper cleaner in Cincinnati, Ohio area schools. Focusing on kindergarten and younger ages. The teachers and schools loved the off-white pliable modeling compound.

Play-doh rises up

Joseph and his uncle Noah started the Rainbow Crafts Company, Inc. in 1956. There are a lot of accounts that state the McVicker brothers started this company but it was Joseph McVicker who was brought into the company in 1949 and his uncle who helped turn the company around the first time in 1933. The company received a patent for its modeling compound in 1965. And from the sales of Play-doh Joseph McVicker is a millionaire by the time he turns 27.

Play-doh is bought commercially too

The Rainbow Crafts Company ended up being bought by General Mills. After awhile, General Mills merged Rainbow Crafts with Kenner Products. The Tonka Corp. purchases the Kenner line from General Mills and in 1991 Hasbro bought Tonka. Hasbro is still the current producer of Play-doh. There are many more colors than the single original color of off-white. There are over 125 accessories now produced for the specific purpose of assisting in modeling Play-doh. And Play-doh has become an American story of rags to riches twice over.

Some Facts:

Originally was one color: off-white.

The recipe is a secret and has changed countless times.

Play-doh is non-toxic.

It was created in Ohio.

Was originally sold in 1.5 pound cardboard can.

Play-doh was a wallpaper cleaner.

Woodward & Lothrop (in Washington D.C.) was the first department store to carry Play-doh.

Play Dough Recipe

2 c flour
2 c warm water
1 c salt
2 T vegetable oil
1 T cream of tartar
Various food colorings

A basic recipe. Mix them all together and you get Play Dough. This is not Play-doh's recipe of course. But still fun none-the-less.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Redes informaticas 7 years ago

      That's Great!

    • CJ Andrews profile image
      Author

      Chris Andrews 7 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      Ms. Chievous - I will have to look at your play-doh hub. And I do like your site. Very imaginative and fun. I am glad that I looked at it from your profile.

    • Ms Chievous profile image

      Tina 7 years ago from Wv

      very well done. I still play with Play-Doh! gonna link to my Play-Doh hub! :)

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi C J, fun and interesting hub, I remember making play doh for my kids, it's great stuff, nice and clean, it so beats the old plasticine, use to find bits of the stuff stuck everywhere!

    • SueShepard profile image

      SueShepard 7 years ago from USA

      @CJ Nope. Didn't know that, see...we need a Hub about it! lol

    • CJ Andrews profile image
      Author

      Chris Andrews 7 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      Thanks for reading the article. @Sue I may have to, did you know that tomato ketchup was actually one of the later types of ketchup. There use to be many different type.

    • Wil C profile image

      Wil C 7 years ago from United States of America

      So can i eat the play-doh? Just kidding. Nice article. I used to love playing with the play-doh. Now I know how to make it.

    • SueShepard profile image

      SueShepard 7 years ago from USA

      I am originally from PA. You could do a history on the Heinz Co. Just a suggestion....:)

    • SueShepard profile image

      SueShepard 7 years ago from USA

      This was cool! So many interesting facts! Excellent!

    • CJ Andrews profile image
      Author

      Chris Andrews 7 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      That is interesting. Since moving to Ohio I find it interesting that this state has such an interesting history. Thanks for taking the time to make a comment.

    • feenix profile image

      feenix 7 years ago

      CJ Andrews, I had no idea that Play-doh has such a colorful history (pardon the pun). And I must say that in addition to being quite informative, this is a very well-written and obviously-well-researched hub. Also, because I grew up in the 1950s, I remember when Play-doh first hit the market. In fact, my sister and I were the first kids on our block to have some of that wonderful stuff.

    • CJ Andrews profile image
      Author

      Chris Andrews 7 years ago from Norwalk, Ohio

      My daughter is "in to" play-doh and I heard a movie quote that it was a brother and sister who started it. So I looked into it. I hope everyone else finds it as interesting as I do. Thanks for the comment.

    • duffsmom profile image

      P. Thorpe Christiansen 7 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

      Fun and interesting Hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)