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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,

the Japanese

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

changeables” that

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

company, said,

“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.

31e


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