Play-Doh Was Supposed To Clean Your Walls

In the 1930s, the company Kroger grocery tasked a man named Noah McVicker and his company Kutol products (a soap company) to create a particular cleaning agent. Kroger needed a material that could clean coal residue off wallpaper. However, after WWII most houses transitioned away from coal-based heating and opted for natural gas. The demand for Play-Doh as cleaning putty declined. McVicker's nephew, Joe McVicker, is the one who had the bright idea. Joe saw nursery school children using the putty as a craft material, and took this idea and ran with it in the 1950s. Joe helped rebrand Play-Doh as a children's toy, and it quickly became a nation-wide hit.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. In the 1930s, Kroger grocery had the company Kutol products make a wallpaper cleaner that would later become Play-Doh. 00:22

  2. The putty that become Play-Doh was originally a wallpaper cleaner, and fell out of demand after WWII. 00:38

  3. Play-Doh was rebranded as a children's toy after seeing nursery school children play with it. 00:45

Written by Curiosity Staff December 12, 2015

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