July 20, 2019

One Small Adjustment: The Story of Play-Doh

Source: Unknown

Play-Doh was originally designed as a wallpaper cleaner, to clean soot deposits from fireplaces. As the story goes, the advent of electric heating diminished the need for the wallpaper cleaner and the inventors,  Noah McVicker and Joseph McVicker, repurposed it as modeling clay.

They got the idea from a family member who was a nursery school teacher. She suggested that it could be used in the classroom to replace the hard modeling clay for a “plastic modeling composition of a soft, playable working consistency’ that eventually became a product known as Play-Doh. Noah McVicker and Joseph McVicker founded Rainbow Crafts to start manufacturing their product.

Joe McVicker became a millionaire before his 27th birthday after re-releasing the product as a toy.

There is a great movie line about this story that captures its essence. The lead actor shares that he keeps a can of Play-Doh as a reminder that “we are all just one small adjustment from making our lives work.”

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