|Toy Brands and Manufacturers|
Play-Doh started out in the US as a cleaning product - a water-and-starch-based cleaning putty formulated to remove coaldust stains from wallpaper. With sales of the putty falling, the company realised that they needed to diversify, and having heard about people using their putty for an art project, they tried remarketing it as an art material.
The new product (with its new name) went on sale around 1955/1956.
A plastic modelling composition comprises a mixture of at least partly gelatinized grain flour, water, a non toxic water soluble salt such as sodium chloride and a substantially odourless hydrocarbon distillate such as kerosene but does not include the presence together of a drying agent and a hardening and astringent agent. The mixture may include a drying agent such as borax, salicylic acid, sodium, benzoate sorbic acid, sodium or calcium propionate, acetic or methane carboxylic acid, glacial acetic acid or vinegar or mixtures thereof, or a hardening and astringent agent such as the alums. Any grain flour may be used but wheat or rye flour is preferred. The water soluble salt which acts as an extender may be sodium chloride, sodium hypochlorite or sodium chlorite. A non toxic dye and a perfume may also be incorporated and the mixture is heated to at least 160 DEG F. to gelatinize the flour. The preferred composition range by weight is:- .Flour.30-57% .Water.30-57% .Salt.1-25% .Hydrocarbon. 1/2 - 5% .Drying agent.0.3-15% .or hardening agent.0.4-4%
— , Noah Wesley McVicker and Joseph Samuel McVicker, , Plastic modelling compositions, , Patent GB946436 (A), , UK and US applications, May 1960, UK granted 1964-01-15
1960: Play-Doh Fun Factory
Play-Doh Fun Factory appeared in 1960 and set Play-Doh apart from its competitors by providing a hardware accessory: a hand-operated plastic device with a long base, a compartment for Play-Doh, and a large handle that when squeezed forced the Play-Doh through a hole. The Fun Factory had a "slide" that fitted over the hole and could be set to different positions to allow different shapes to be extruded. Which was fun.
1964: Meccano Ltd.
In the UK, Play-Doh was briefly produced under licence by Meccano Ltd.
Fun with PLAY-DOH
A FASCINATING new product to come from the Meccano factory is Play-Doh, a modelling compound in bright colours from which all manner of things can be made. Shortly, you will be able to buy it from Meccano dealers, in tubs of different colours or in the form of a 'Fun Factory' set where a press, containing dies, has been added to enhance the play value.
By using the 'Fun Factory' you will be able to make a number of interesting shapes, but, of course, you can also use the compound by hand (it does not require kneading but is pliable right from the container), and we give an example on this page of the way in which it can also be used to make freehand models, such as the kitten which is illustrated here.
One of the intriguing things about Play-Doh is that it can be left to set completely hard over a period of two or three days, or it can be put back in the tub immediately after use and, with the lid on, will keep for months on end.
Play-Doh is non-toxic, so that even infants will find it harmless. It can be obtained in red, yellow and blue, which will blend to many other colours and once it has been left to set hard, it can be coloured with crayons. You can also colour it with oil, water or poster paints and the ideal time to use these is 24 to 48 hours after making a particular model.
The Play-Doh 'Fun Factory' will be priced in the United Kingdom at 14/11 d. and this will include a 6 oz. tub of Play-Doh and a trimming knife. Three-tub packs of Play-Doh, one red, one yellow and one blue, each tub containing 6 oz., will cost 6/11 d. in the U.K.
From time to time we hope to publish other ideas on Play-Doh modelling for the younger members of the family.
— , -, , News for the Young, , Meccano Magazine, , September 1964
- Patent GB946436 (A) (espacenet.com)
- Play-Doh (ideafinder.com)
- Play-Doh cologne (thelibraryoffragrance.eu)
- "In the World of Play-Doh", advertising campaign, DDB Paris (dandad.org)
- "Play-Doh" by Jeff Koons (christies.com) – tribute sculpture assembled from 27 pieces of precision-sculpted painted aluminium