I had heard once, as a kid many years ago, that the slinky was invented as an attempt to develop a compact radio antenna for field radio operators in war; being a fun toy, too, was “accidental”.
Cecil’s recent description makes no mention of the antenna connection, and makes it sound like it was primarily developed for the fun it turned out to be.
Is the antenna theory bunk?
I always thought it was invented by the late Mr. Loobner, who was born without a backbone.
Ten points to the first poster to point out the source of that…
“old lady” harrumph.
Well, obviously not. “Old man” I mean to say.
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Cecil’s column can be found on-line at this link:
Did the inventor of the Slinky join a cult in Bolivia? (06-Jul-2001)
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The plot erm… oscillates metallically: Cecil’s other slinky column doesn’t endorse the origin, but doesn’t rule out the function either Can playing with a Slinky change the channels on your TV set?
KneadToKnow wins 10 points and a visit from the Noogie Patrol.
The suspense was killing me!
I was pretty sure that I saw the inventor of the Slinky on a recent Discovery Channel show called something like “Our Favorite Toys.”
His wife states that he is dead. I don’t remember for sure, but I thought they did interview the inventor himself. But maybe I was thinking of another toy, or maybe they interviewed his son or something. If I find out for sure, of if anyone else knows, let’s post it here.