"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Silly Putty®, Wiffle® Ball,Slinky®- 3 Toys Share a Distinction ( and it’s not short i)

All three are manufactured in the USA!!

Two in Pennsylvania, and one in Connecticut (Wiffle® Ball)

Learned how to make a ® symbol on the Mac keyboard so thought I would use (overuse) it for this post.

These names are familiar I know. And to people my age, a host of memories will resurface after you view these images.

Silly Putty® is now owned by Binney and Smith and is more than fifty years old. Tons of this pliable stuff has been manufactured and sold in the past fifty + years.

Slinky® has an interesting history, too, and About.com lists this memorable jingle but be careful cause it might stick in your head all day and you’ll remember the tune, too. They are manufactured in Holidaysburg PA.

“What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, And makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, Everyone knows it’s Slinky…
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, for fun it’s a wonderful toy
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, it’s fun for a girl and a boy
– Advertising Jingle for Slinky

You can always buy a new Slinky cause who hasn’t gotten one stretched out and tangled up irreversibly?

And I remember when Wiffle® Balls came out ! Do you? They are still selling strong. Especially to college kids.

I was in Shadyside Variety Store, picking up a few items for the grandchildren. I remember when Mark, Matthew and Laura used to shop here in the early nineties. We lived around the corner for two years and they could walk there to shop.

So many nostalgic favorites- and the latest inventive toys from the Toy Fair, like Spot It which Sharon the proprietor demonstrated for me so I can play it with Anna and Michael when I visit. Keeping my brain sharp. I am fairly certain they’ll beat me.

See the rubber chicken dangling inside the colorful hula hoops at the store entrance? Next time the grandchildren come I am going to take them to the Shadyside Variety Store, give them each some money and see what they decide to buy after extensive browsing!

The nicest guy from Texas,who just finished up a Robotics Conference at CMU, was shopping – he held the Etch-a-Sketch up for me when I was exploring the store for classics!

When your shopping list says birthday gift, jumprope, jacks, sidwalk chalk, art supplies, Dots, Pinky Balls, and Silly Putty, Slinky and Wiffle Ball….. Shadyside Variety Store 5421 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh – (412) 681-1716 (Cash or check!)

Someone asked me the other day if I were a reporter. No, a blogger. Self-assigned!

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9 responses

  1. Toni

    I’m glad this store is not on the list of “things that aren’t there anymore”! Fun place!

    June 26, 2011 at 9:04 am

  2. Kristin

    Looks like a fun place!

    June 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

  3. Sue Reinfeld

    Every package I sent to Yoni has to have silly putty. I know that store and love going in there.

    June 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

  4. Sally

    I remember ALL those things!! Guess that shows how old I am — Yep – an Oldie but Goodie! Another thing I loved was paperdolls and my brothers had the wooden paddle with a rubber ball on the end and we’d have contests to see who could hit that ball the most times without losing control!

    June 26, 2011 at 11:55 am

  5. Euthemia

    Slinky was an answer on Jeopardy this week. :-)

    June 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

  6. erica

    I hope Sharon sees this!!!! Her Mom used to work in the Store: I guess it has always been owned and run by her family!?
    The two large planters with petunias and potato-vines have maybe 3-4 siblings as you walk down Walnut. Sharon plants, cares for, hand waters them herself, and by the end of the Season they are lush and beautiful!

    June 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm

  7. Mad Libs – yay! And Gumby!

    June 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm

  8. Fabulous slideshow – I knew every one. Always loved the sewing cards – did that lead to my love of needlepoint – oh no that was you.

    June 27, 2011 at 8:25 am

  9. Joanne

    Thanks Ruth ~ I remember going into that store one time when I visited you. It’s a treasure trove for a little kid with a few dollars to spend. Your grandkids will love it.

    June 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

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