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The Fascinating History Of Silly Putty

Whoa. Silly Putty is weird.

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Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Silly Putty's birth began as an accident. During WWII, rubber materials became scarce after Japan invaded territories that exported rubber goods and so the government funded research to find a synthetic rubber compound.


General Electric then sent out the Silly Putty prototype to several engineers to see if they could find any use for the material. No one did.

In 1949, a man named Peter Hodgson began marketing the bouncy goo as a toy, packaging small amount in the plastic egg casings you still see today.


Apparently, Silly Putty no longer picks up images from comics and newspapers! This is because of a change in newspaper inks. It's still, however, a widely recognized toy and over the years people have found multitudes of weird uses for it — as a fur/lint/dirt removal aid, for stress reduction, to insulate drinks to keep them cold, and many more.