September 16:

September 16: National Play-Doh Day

Few smells can conger up childhood more than a new can of Play-Doh.  But you may be surprised by Play-Doh’s origins.

Play-Doh was invented by Noah and Joseph McVicker in 1956 and awarded U.S. Patent 3,167,440 in 1965. One of many common products invented by accident, it was meant as wallpaper cleaner, but Joseph’s sister, a kindergarten teacher, started letting her students use it as a molding compound for art projects, since clay was too hard and messy.

It was marketed by toy manufacturer Rainbow Crafts, and first sold at the Woodward & Lothrop department store in Washington, D.C.

Originally, Play-Doh came in only one color; off-white and came in a cardboard can.  The color line was expanded in 1957 to include yellow, red and blue.  In 1986 the cardboard can was abandoned for a plastic container.

More of this Play-Doh timeline can be found at

Do you know the name of the Play-Doh mascot?