And here are two of them …
In July, a toy company in California, named Wham-O, started to market a plastic circle that people put around their waists and started them spinning. Thus, began the hula hoop, a $1.98 thing that you can buy today starting around $10.00.
Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin are the two guys credited with developing the hula hoop which they patented in 1963. A fad started immediately, and in its first four months, twenty-five million of them were sold. More than 100 million were sold within two years. One of the first hula hoop manufacturers, Carlon Products Corporation was making more than 50,000 of them every day. In 1999, the hula hoop was inducted into The National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York.
In case you needed to know:
- The longest verified record holder is Aaron Hibbs, from Columbus, Ohio who kept a hoop spinning for 74 hours and 54 minutes in 2009.
- Paul “dizzy hips” Blair twirled 132 hula hoops at once in 2009.
- Austrian, Roman Schedler, holds the world’s record 100 meter dash for running while twirling a hula hoop around his waist in 13.84 seconds, and
- American, Kris Slomin, holds the world’s record mile for running while twirling a hula hoop around his waist in six minutes and forty seconds.
In 1958, a brand new Chevrolet Corvette cost $3,591. That same vehicle is worth more than $100,000 today.
And the final thing is that Arthur Melin’s nickname, “Spud,” got me thinking about one of my favorite toys from the 50s … the spud gun.