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Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

History of hula hoop

History of hula hoop

History of hula hoop


Children around the world have always played with hoops, by rolling and throwing them or twirling them around the waist and limbs. For adults, hoop twirling has at times been recommended as a weight-loss measure (ancient Greece) and, ironically, denounced as a source of sprains, pains and even heart attacks (14th-century England). These hoops were once made of vines or other plants, wood, or metal.
The conversion of the toy hoop into 20th-century Americana came thanks to Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, founders of the Wham-O Company. In 1957, an Australian visiting California told them offhand that in his home country, children twirled bamboo hoops around their waists in gym class. Knerr and Melin saw how popular such a toy would be; and soon they were winning rave reviews from schoolkids for the hollow plastic prototype they had created.

The next year, the hula hoop, whose name came from the Hawaiian dance its users seemed to imitate, was marketed nationwide. American kids and adults alike were hooked: Wham-O sold 25 million hula hoops in two months. Almost 100 million international orders followed. Wham-O could hardly patent an ancient item, but did reinvent, manufacture and market the hula hoop for the modem world – for example, by using Marlex, a lightweight but durable plastic then recently invented by Phillips Petroleum. By the end of 1958, after $45 million in profits, the craze was dying down.
History of hula hoop

History of hula hoop


Interesting facts
– Archaeologists have found the fossilized hoops in Egypt. They were in the burial sites of Egyptian dignitaries. Image of an athlete, twisting the hoop, can be seen on the vase, which is in the British Museum.
– Richard Johnson in his book American Fads (1985) expresses his opinion that none of the sensation was able to take the country as the hula-hoop did.
– As circus art, hula-hoop gained popularity in Bulgaria in the 90s. Later it came to Russia with the traveling circus and became popular.
– The name “hulahup” comes from the Hawaiian “the hula” (dance) and the English “hoop”.
Hula Hoop as circus art

Hula Hoop as circus art

History of hula hoop

Hula Hoop as circus art

Hula Hoop as circus art

It is very popular

It is very popular

Soviet girls

Soviet girls