Saturday, February 13, 2010

On February 13

On this day in ...
... 1918, Betty Mattas was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Married while a student at Pennsylvania State University, Betty James (right) eventually would collaborate with her inventor husband to produce the time-honored "helical spring" toy known for its ability to "travel down stairs end-over-end as it stretches and re-forms itself with the aid of gravity and its own momentum." (photo credit) It is, of course, the Slinky, initially priced at $1 out of James' concern that it be accessible to low-income buyers. James served as chief executive officer of her family-owned business for nearly 4 decades. She retired in 1998, and in 2001 "became one of the few women inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame." She died last November at age 90.

(Prior February 13 posts are here and here.)

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