Play doh was not ALWAYS play doh

United States
February 3, 2016 7:03pm CST
I've been looking for strange but true historical facts to share with everyone here when I came across this one. I thought I'd post it because @GardenGerty was just talking about the commercial playdoh vs the at home stuff and gluten vs non gluten ingredients. In any case, Play Doh was not always a putty for children to enjoy. It was, at one time, a putty to remove coal reside from walls of homes. I can see where this would work. Apparently, after people started switching to gas and electric heat? The putty was no long needed and the creator decide to market it as Play Doh. Kutol Wallpaper Cleaner was it's former name and became the Play Doh that many generations have enjoyed since since 1956.
13 people like this
11 responses
@irishidid (8119)
• United States
4 Feb 16
I did know about Playdoh but didn't know the company that made it.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Feb 16
So you knew it was once used to clean soot off of walls?
@celticeagle (113972)
• Boise, Idaho
4 Feb 16
I used that type of the dough back when I was a small child. My mom was helping this lady clean her house and she had some of this dough she was using on smokey walls. I got to play with the dough. I had no idea was soon to be come Play Doh.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 16
It was amazing that the company thought to market it for kids. Someone on the development team must have seen their kids or their friend's kids playing with it and thought they could re-market it. I don't know whether the inventor of the putty was still with the company at that time.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (113972)
• Boise, Idaho
4 Feb 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum ...I have heard the story of how that came to be but have forgotten it now. I think it was on Mysteries at the Museum.
@marlina (60412)
• Canada
4 Feb 16
Interesting to know about the play dough.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 16
I thought so. Pretty neat. I am not sure when they started to dye the dough into different colors though.
@Platespinner (18055)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
4 Feb 16
There are a lot of things on the market that were originally intended as something else. Interesting tidbits about play doh!
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 16
True, and some things that are actually intended for one thing were used for many. My grandmother has told tales of how WD 40 was used as a boil remedy. If I am not mistaken her uncle sprayed WD 40 on a boil she had on her hand and then rubbed the boil, asking her if she believed it would be gone by the next day. It was.
1 person likes this
@amnabas (9815)
• Karachi, Pakistan
4 Feb 16
Great to know about play doh
1 person likes this
@Lucky15 (33719)
• Philippines
4 Feb 16
ahh, thanks for the trivia. i always thought of it like the one that kids play
• United States
4 Feb 16
Apparently it had a more practical use before they marketed it for kids. I wonder what made them think that children would enjoy playing with the putty?
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (89960)
• Marion, Kansas
4 Feb 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum Someone's little kid probably took a piece and started playing with it and that parent had an aha marketing moment.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 16
@GardenGerty I figured as much, and they must have been employed within the company that made the soot removal paste.
• United States
4 Feb 16
I never knew that! Very interesting! Now I bet Play Doh company makes more money for the Play Doh then it was for removing Coal
• United States
4 Feb 16
I imagine so, especially since it's not been used as a means to remove coal soot for quite some time. I would even so much as bet that the average housewife had a different means for removing coal and thus didn't need the Kutol stuff to begin with!
2 people like this
• United States
4 Feb 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum But now with YouTube and all, many people are making their own play doh. And the cost of play doh has rose! And now they have to venture out to partnering with like disney characters to make those play doh sets where you can squeeze out fun shapes, etc featuring princesses, minions and so forth to make money.
• United States
4 Feb 16
I never knew play doh had a use before it became a kids toy
• United States
4 Feb 16
Neither did I until today. Interesting huh?
@GardenGerty (89960)
• Marion, Kansas
4 Feb 16
I would have thought of Silly Putty for that use. I can see why with the Playdoh knowing the ingredients. A home remedy for smudges on the wall is to rub it with a slice of bread. Now I need to search to find out what I can about Silly Putty because this makes me curious.
• United States
4 Feb 16
A slice of bread? Does the yeast within the bread bond to the smudges? I know I've heard of something else to remove smudges on the wall but it's not coming to me at hte moment.
@jstory07 (57086)
• Roseburg, Oregon
4 Feb 16
I have heard about the play doh before.
• United States
4 Feb 16
You mean that it was originally used as a means to remove soot from walls?
@JolietJake (39451)
4 Feb 16
Wonder what the original color of it was...
• United States
4 Feb 16
That is a good question. I bet it stuck with the normal off white for awhile before they started adding food coloring to change the colors.
2 people like this