Claim: Play-Doh brand modeling compound started out as a wallpaper cleaner.
Origins: Over the years, a number of (now) commonplace products have begun their commercial careers as substances intended for quite different purposes. Kotex, for instance, began as a bandaging material used on wounded soldiers in World
The kids’ toy Play-Doh modeling compound fairly belongs in this category of commercial change of direction. This compound of flour, water, salt, boric acid, and silicone oil was originally manufactured as a cleaning substance for wallpaper. (The dough-like cleaner was rolled against wallpaper to remove
used in classrooms. A supply of the wallpaper cleaner was provided to her, and the kids she taught loved it. Seeing that, the entrepreneur supplied schools in the Cincinnati area with the substance, thereby getting his “play dough” into the hands of thousands of little product testers.
News of the squishable goop spread, assisted in no small part by McVicker who demonstrated and sold the item in the toy department of Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington, D.C. Grasping the toy’s potential, McVicker formed Rainbow Crafts to manufacture
In its original incarnation, Play-Doh was off-white and came in
Barbara “color weal” Mikkelson
Last updated: 27 June 2011
Bieselin, Robert. “Are You a Doh Nut?” The [Bergen County] Record. 12 October 2006 (p. F1). Kamila, Avery Yale. “Oh Happy Clay.” Portland Press Herald. 14 November 2010 (p. G1). Sheedy, Chris. “Icons in the Beginning.” The [Sydney] Sun Herald. 5 February 2006 (p. 8).