Accidental Inventions: Play Doh

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The non-toxic, non-staining, reusable modeling compound that came to be known as Play-Doh was first manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA as a wallpaper cleaner in the 1930s by Noah McVicker for Kutol Products, a Cincinnati-based soap company. After World War II, McVicker’s nephew, Joseph McVicker, joined Kutol and discovered the wallpaper cleaner was being used by nursery school children to make Christmas ornaments. The product was reworked and marketed to Cincinnati schools in the mid-1950s and by 1958, Play-Doh’s sales reached nearly $3 million. More than two billion cans of Play-Doh were sold between 1955 and 2005, and in 2005, Play-doh was being sold in 75 countries around the world at 95 million cans a year. (wiki)