"In 1943, Richard James was a naval engineer trying to develop a meter designed to monitor horsepower on naval battleships. Richard was working with tension springs when one of the springs fell to the ground. He saw how the spring kept moving after it hit the ground and an idea for a toy was born.
Richard James told his wife Betty, "I think I can make a toy out of this" and then spent the next two years figuring out the best steel gauge and coil to use for the toy. Betty James found a name for the new toy after discovering in the dictionary that the word "Slinky" is a Swedish word meaning traespiral - sleek or sinuous.
Slinky debuted at Gimbel's Department Store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the 1945 Christmas season and then at the 1946 American Toy Fair. Richard nervous at the first demonstration of his toy convinced a friend to attend and buy the first Slinky. However, this turned out to be unnecessary as 400 were sold during the 90 minute Gimbel demonstration."
"What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, And makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, Everyone knows its 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