The Question:

How did the lady who thought up the Slinky get the company to pay her for her idea?

The Answer:

It was actually quite easy. The woman behind the Slinky, Betty James, had to convince only one person that this toy was going to be a money-maker—her husband Richard. And although Betty was the person responsible for the vision and the name (it's a Swedish word meaning stealthy, sleek, and sinuous), it was her husband who first brought the idea to her attention.

Richard was a naval engineer in 1945 who was conducting experiments when a spring fell to the floor and began to "walk." He took the spring home and Betty helped him turn it into one of the world's most popular toys. They produced them and presented them in stores the following year. Since then over 250 million Slinkies have been sold worldwide.

Little has changed about this famous wire toy in the last 50 years, and they are still made in Hollidaysburg, Penn., with the original equipment Richard James created.

Here is a link to the home of the official Slinky Web site if you are looking for more information.

—The Fact Monster