The 1950s were a great time to be an inventor. There was a lot more uncharted territory to cover and without the helpfulness of the internet, people would have to get creative. My dad seemed to talk about wanting to patent this or patent that, always looking for a way to get rich. He'd often bring up the story of how the original Slinky was created. We all had one. I remember being jealous of friends that had the metal Slinky since mine was merely made of plastic.
The Slinky remains one of the most popular toys to this day, nearly 80 years after it was first created. It's pretty easy to see why. My four-year-old would immediately gravitate to one if I bought it for her. I can very easily see her doing the same things I did with mine, namely sending it down the stairs.
One Seattle mother figured out a way to make the slinky even more fun. Her son was often sick and unable to leave their home. His mom would figure out ways to keep the sadness away and keep her son entertained. This would lead to her greatest invention: the Slinky Dog. It was a pretty simple idea. The boy wanted to see what would happen if you could pull a Slinky along on wheels. His mother created all sorts of animal Slinkies for her son but it was the Slinky Dog that would take on a life of its own. She sold the rights to her invention and made around $1,000,000 from it before her death in 1998. At least Helen Malsed was able to see the craze return after the Slinky Dog played a key role in 1995's Toy Story.