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The History Of Bouncy Balls

Updated on May 20, 2009

Bouncy Balls Are...?

Bouncy Balls, (Also known as Super balls) are lots of fun for people of all ages to enjoy. Bouncy balls are also looked to for quick entertainment by millions around the world.

Bouncy balls are colorful compacted forms of rubber that can sometimes bounce up over three stories high, or be flung into a wall and caught o the back bounce, bounced down the street, dribbled, and by a lot of people be collected for they're colorful and exciting designs!

Who Invented The Bouncy Ball?

The Bouncy ball, also known as the super ball was invented by a California chemist named Norman Stingley. In Norman's spare time early 1965, Norman Stingley compressed scraps of synthetic rubber together under around 3500 pounds of pressure per square inch, which resulted in a compressed rubber ball with an unexpected resilience.  

Norman Stringley presented his new invention to his employer at the Bettis Rubber Company, of Whittier, California, who rejected this item for certain "snitches" in the product, including things such as the bouncy ball falling apart quickly and easily under use, it was feared Norman Stringley's product would never hit the markets due to these problems with the new toy.

The Bouncy Ball Lived On, Wham-O Saves The Day!

This was not the end of the bouncy ball, not too long after being turned away by his employer, Norman Stringley was contacted by a company called Wham-O, who had made themselves a name for taking in brilliant ideas off the street and working just a liittle bit to take them from failer to success! Wham-O took ideas such as the

"Frisbee" and fixed the bugs in the idea and got a name out there for the product once deemed "workable".

After Norman Stringley agreed to working with Wham-O, it still took several months to come up with a more sturdy concentration that would hold up to normal use. Although, even after finding a stronger substance, the bouncy ball still lost large pieces if thrown hard enough at a rough surface. With continuing effort, the Bouncy Ball's imperfections just dissipated. They literally just bounced away.... :)

Bouncy Balls "Took Off"

Soon after the bouncy ball had been perfected, the bouncy ball took a step into glory and headed straight for the market in the fall months of 1965. Wham-O gave the bouncing balls a big market promotion. By Christmas, only 6 months after being introduced to Wham-O, Seven Million Bouncy Balls had been sold at ninety-eight cents a piece. A proud achievement.

At first the bouncy balls attracted young children, small boys and girls. Before long adults where buying the small balls of rubber as well, the bouncy ball became everyone's favorite play toy, a form of entertainment used by people everywhere. The bouncy ball attracted people of all ages and kinds. Even presidential aide, McGeorge Bundy, had five dozen Bouncy Balls shipped to the White House for the amusement of staff members. The Bouncy Ball became quickly known, and became the next big thing... the new style, the new cool, or the new black!

Bouncy Balls... Unsafe?

Bouncy Balls were bounced over roof tops, dribbled by skate boarders, used as a tool to play Jacks, and bounced off the floor to bounce back and catch. The real break through for the Bouncy Ball was when it started being used as a one-person-catch-game. Throwing the compacted piece of rubber at a wall would allow it to come back at you and for you to catch it. This also gave the Bouncy Ball the chance that it would fly back and hit you. "Duck or get struck," became the new phrase. 

This game became a mess when people started getting hurt from the bouncy balls. Black eyes across the nation started protesting the bouncy ball as unsafe for play and use. This of course was not enough to bring down the new break through of fun. In fact, it didn't even make an indent in sales for the bouncy ball; they just kept rising.

How Bouncy Balls Are Doing Now...

The appeal of bouncy balls has gone down over the years, everything does end, but bouncy balls did not disappear completely. Bouncy balls can still be found at almost any store, in any coin slot machines or on the shelf practically anyplace.

Though there is new technology and newer gadgets the appeal of bouncy balls has not been driven away, people all over the world still look to the bouncy ball for a good time and fun entertainment... as they always will.

Hubchalenge Hub 5!


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    • profile image

      somrhting 5 years ago

      awesome job!!!! amazing toy

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 8 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      Thanks Dheeraji!

      They are a lot of fun! ^_^

    • Dheeraji profile image

      Dheeraji 8 years ago from Leicestershire

      I agree

      Another great hub Cam!

      Bouncy balls are just so fun :)

      Good work on the hub, very good indeed,

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 8 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      glassvisage, Thank you! I thought it was pretty neat to learn how a simple toy we all take for granted came to be!

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Wow! What a great idea for a Hub. How funny that there were initially so many issues with such a simple toy :)