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Silly Putty Essay, Research Paper
Can you name a toy that was inducted into the National Toy Hall
of Fame this year,
along with the Tonka Truck, beating over 80 other classics nominated
last year, including
Raggedy Ann and G.I. Joe, and that even has two different crayon colors
named after it?
That toy is Silly Putty, my friends. Now Silly Putty can add its name
to that honored hall of fame, which includes time-cherished toys such as the Hoola Hoop,
Crayola Crayons, LincolnLogs, and the Monopoly Game.
Silly Putty is a pretty unique substance. Chemically, it is a
dilatant compound, a silicone based polymer that is highly elastic, and non-toxic and
non-irritating to the skin. But to most of us, it is just that amazing toy that stretches without
breaking, yet it can be “snapped off” cleanly. It bounces higher than a rubber ball. It
floats if you shape it in a certain way, yet sinks in others. It can pick up pencil marks from
pages and comics from newspapers. If you slam it with a hammer, it keeps it shape, and yet
if you push with light, even pressure, it will flatten with ease.
Silly Putty could thus be used in the study of martial arts: it flows
like water, breaks like a brick, it can disguise itself, and it has the agility of a cat.
With all of these unique properties, it’s no wonder people are puzzled (yet love to play with)
Silly Putty. This pinkish, bouncing, stretchy stuff, sometimes called the toy with only one moving
part, has been the subject of dissertations by aspiring physicists and chemists for years.
Silly Putty was invented by accident. In the midst of World War II,
continued to invade rubber producing countries in the Far East, cutting
off supply to the
United States. This began to hamper war production efforts, especially
for truck tires and
boots. As a result, the government’s War Production Board asked
American industry to
attempt to develop a synthetic rubber compound. A Scottish engineer,
working for General
Electric, was trying to produce rubber when a batch went bad; as a
result, Silly Putty was
born. However, no ?practical? uses were ever discovered. In 1949, it
was first sold in a toy
shop, outselling every item in the catalog, except one: a box of
hexagonal Crayola Crayons.
Since its discovery 50 years ago, the curious pinkish compound is now
sold in 16
different colors including metallic gold, glow-in-the-dark, and “color
change from orange to yellow and purple to pink from the heat of your
hand. More than 300
million eggs of Silly Putty have been sold; that?s enough to create a
giant wad the size of the
Goodyear Blimp? or if you prefer, you could wrap a strand 5 millimeters
thick around the
earth almost 6 times.
Over the years, Silly Putty has been used for a great variety of
things: it can be used
to throw at the stock market listings so that you can invest in the
stock it lifts off the page,
to stick yucky vegetables under the dining room table, to take a
fingerprint off of a truck that
was broken into (they actually caught the culprit), to find the snooze
bar on your alarm clock
with glow in the dark Silly Putty, to dust off your window blinds, to
fill in bowling ball holes
that are too large, to hold your dog?s bowl so that it doesn?t slide
around on the floor, to catch
a fish, and it has even been used to give hairdos to Pez dispensers.
For truly, as Stacy Gabrielle, the spokesperson for the Silly Putty
“Whether you’ve stretched it like a rubber band, bounced it like a ball
or used it for more
practical purposes like cleaning a computer keyboard or fixing a wobbly
furniture leg, the toy
with one moving part is just as much fun to play with today as it was
when it was first
introduced over 50 years ago?; there is nothing else like Silly Putty.
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