Artists, architects and engineers have been known to use Play-Doh when developing new ideas. A model of Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia, has been constructed using more than 2,500 handmade Play-Doh bricks.
Modern Play-Doh has a softer, more pliable consistency than the original. The ingredient that gives Play-Doh its distinctive aroma is vanilla.
Play-Doh needs no introduction, which is why a fictitious one will suffice. Children have been molding with it (molding was temporary, as it took 3 days for a piece to air dry to the point where it was durable enough to keep its shape) and, yes, even eating it, for more than 40 years. In fact, did you know that September 16th is National Play-Doh Day? That about says it all, doesn't it?
In 1986 another change was made as the cardboard can was abandoned for a more cost effective plastic container. The cardboard cans were somewhat flimsy and had a metal bottom that was vulnerable to rust. Plastic seemed like the perfect choice to keep Play-Doh fresh and ready for fun. Play-Doh has also changed hands many times; most recently in 1991 when it was sold to Hasbro and added to their Playskool division.
Captain Kangaroo endorsed Play-Doh, and so did Miss Frances from Ding Dong School. Play-Doh Pete appeared on product cans in 1960. The Fun Factory let kids extrude the material into interesting shapes, making mock hair, colorful spaghetti, and pretend ice cream that wouldn’t melt.
Its similarity to regular modeling clay, without the toxicity or mess, makes Play-Doh® a great toy. Over 700 million pounds of Play-Doh® have been sold to date.
Early cans are marked "1959 Rainbow Crafts Inc." and featured a lovable elf. In the early '60s the elf was dismissed and replaced by a boy dressed as an artist. I suppose that he was lovable too, but you sorta had to know the elf. If you happen to pick up a vintage can, the compound will mostly likely be hardend. Also, the bottom of the cans were very vunerable to rust.
Word spread like wildfire and department stores began to take a serious interest. Under the banner of his new company “Rainbow Crafts”, it was first sold in the toy department of Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington, D.C. It was the first of over 900 million pounds of the squishy, salty (non-toxic) cans of the recently dubbed “Play-Doh” to be sold over the next 50 years. Early cans featured a happy little elf on the label, doing his best to extoll the virtues of fun with Play-Doh.
McVicker showcased the modeling clay at a national education convention in 1955, and word spread to Macy’s and Marshall Field’s. By 1956, the wallpaper cleaner had become Play-Doh. In the 1980s, Play-Doh expanded its palette to eight colors. Later versions sparkled with glitter, glowed in the dark, or smelled like shaving cream. Recent estimates say that kids have played with 700 million pounds of Play-Doh.
In 1956, Joseph McVicker and his uncle, Noah McVicker, created the Rainbow Crafts Company, Inc. The sole purpose of this company was to manufacture and sell Play-Doh. Originally Play-Doh came in 1.5 pound boxes and was an off-white color. The company also quickly offered red, yellow, and blue Play-Doh in gallon cans. Due to the large size of the packaging, the Rainbow Crafts Company began selling Play-Doh in eleven ounce packages. Kutol Products continued to manufacture soap and other cleaners, but Rainbow Crafts Company, Inc., became the sole manufacturer of Play-Doh.
In 1949, Irma McVicker hired her son, Joseph McVicker, and her son-in-law, Bill Rhodenbaugh, to head Kutol Products Company, a Cincinnati, Ohio, firm that produced soap and wallpaper cleaner. Joseph McVicker soon realized that Kutol Products' wallpaper cleaner also could be used as a pliable modeling clay. In 1955, he tested the product in Cincinnati-area schools and daycares. The following year, the Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington, DC, began to sell the clay, which McVicker had named Play-Doh. Noah and Joseph McVicker applied for a patent for Play-Doh in 1958, but the United States Patent Office did not officially patent the clay until January 26, 1965.
Play-Doh is a commercial plastic modeling compound similar in texture to bread dough that has been sold as a children's toy, substitute for modeling clay, around the world for a half century.
Its exact makeup is a secret, but is primarily a mixture of wheat flour, water, deodorized kerosene or another petroleum distillate (which provides the smooth texture), salt, a drying agent such as borax (which deters mold), an alum-based hardening agent, and colorings and perfume.
For the first time, Hasbro, Inc. has bottled that fresh, just-out-of-the-can, "eau de PLAY-DOH" aroma into a limited-edition fragrance as part of a year-long celebration of the beloved modeling compound's 50th birthday. Out in time for Mother's Day, the 1-ounce, spray bottle fragrance is meant for 'highly-creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood.'