Andrea and I bought Silly Putty last night because we remembered how much we loved it when we were growing up. I have been playing with it all day at work. It's good to have Silly Putty back in my life.. now that I have rediscovered it.. it will always sit on my desk.
Reasons I like Silly Putty: 1) It is a great stress reliever! 2) You can make extra fingers on your hand because its flesh colored (the original color) 3) You can get air bubbles in it and make it pop! 4) You can bounce it off your computer monitor. 5) The smell reminds me of the yester years. 6) You can transfer images from the newspaper. (some discoloring will happen) 7) You can stretch it until it snaps in half. 8) I like things that comes from eggs... chicken.. people.. silly putty! (not snakes) 9) I like that you can let the putty sit and it will just chill. (mellows out) 10) It tastes great!!! (it did when I was a kid... I havent tried it since)
Here is a not so brief history of the "Putty"
In 1943, Silly Putty was accidentally invented by James Wright, an engineer in General Electric's New Haven laboratory, which was under a government contract to create an inexpensive substitute for synthetic rubber for the war effort. By combining boric acid with silicone oil, a material resulted that would stretch and bounce farther than rubber, even at extreme temperatures. In addition, the substance would copy any newspaper or comic-book print that it touched.
There is some debate on who received the first patent. Corning Glass Works, who was also developing a substitute for rubber, applied for a patent in 1943 and received it in 1947 for treating dimethyl silicone polymer with boric oxide. Wright applied for his patent in 1944. In any event, Wright is still officially credited with the invention.
By 1945, General Electric (GE) had shared this discovery with scientists around the world, only to find that none of them, including those at the U.S. War Production Board, found it more practical than the synthetic rubber already then being produced. Several years later, an unemployed copywriter named Peter Hodgson recognized its marketing potential as a children's toy, after first seeing it advertised at a local toy store as an adult gift. Hodgson bought the production rights from GE and renamed it Silly Putty, packaging it in plastic eggs because Easter was on the way.
Though Hodgson introduced Silly Putty at the International Toy Fair in New York in February of 1950, it was not until several months later when an article appeared in The New Yorker magazine that sales took off. Initially, its market as a novelty item was 80% adult. However, by 1955 Silly Putty was most popular with kids ages six to 12 years old. Six years later, Silly Putty was introduced to the Soviet Union, followed by Europe, where it was a hit in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Italy. By the time Hodgson died in 1976, Silly Putty had made him a multi-millionaire.
It was only after its success as a toy that practical uses were also found for Silly Putty. It picks up dirt, lint, and pet hair, and can stabilize wobbly furniture. It has also been used in stress-reduction and physical therapy (athletes have used it to strengthen their grip), and in other medical and scientific situations (like smoking cessation programs). In 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts carried Silly Putty into space in a specially designed sterling silver egg to alleviate boredom and help fasten down tools in the weightless environment. The Columbus Zoo in Ohio has even used it to make casts of the hands and feet of gorillas for educational purposes.
The eight million units produced in 1998 is four times what was produced in 1987. Binney & Smith, the maker of Crayola products who has manufactured Silly Putty since 1977, added four fluorescent colors in 1990—magenta, orange, green, and yellow. A market study at this time showed that nearly 70% of American households had purchased Silly Putty at some time.
In 1991, "Glow in the Dark" was introduced, though classic Silly Putty has remained the best seller. Most Silly Putty is still packaged in plastic eggs. Each egg contains 0.47 oz (13.5 g) and sells for about $1.00. Binney & Smith produces more than A sigma-blade mixer is used to manufacture Silly Putty. Raw materials are placed into the mixing bowl and blended together for half an hour. Once mixed, the machine operator tilts the mixing bowl and removes the material onto a cart. From there, the Silly Putty is cut and packaged. A sigma-blade mixer is used to manufacture Silly Putty. Raw materials are placed into the mixing bowl and blended together for half an hour. Once mixed, the machine operator tilts the mixing bowl and removes the material onto a cart. From there, the Silly Putty is cut and packaged. 12,000 eggs or 300 lb (136.2 kg) each day. More than 300 million eggs—or 4,000 tons of Silly Putty—have been sold since 1950, which is enough to stretch around the earth nearly three times.