The history of the Lemon Twist (or Footsie) toy fad of the 1970’s

Vintage Lemon Twist toy 1975

Rarely has a toy reemerged over and over again as a hit “new toy” like the Lemon Twist (or Jingle Jump, Footsie, Skip-A-Roo, or Skip It). First introduced in the late 1960’s as the Footsie toy, it became immensely popular for several few years before gradually fading away into obscurity. Then in the mid-1970’s the…

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The history of the Frisbee Flying Disc (1970’s)

Girls throwing a Frisbee disc - Wham-O commercial frame

In the United States, two simultaneous “inventions” of the flying disc occurred on opposite ends of the country while a major tweaking of the disc design and a hearty dose of marketing set off the 1970’s Frisbee craze that lasted for nearly two decades.

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The bizarre Goldfish Swallowing fad of the 1940’s

University of Missouri School of Journalism student Marie Hensen became the first woman to swallow goldfish April 1939

Introduction It began in the 1930’s, a fad so bizarre; some mistakenly believe it to be an urban legend. Goldfish swallowing, where a live goldfish is swallowed, started in mid 1939 and sizzled out a few months later. Despite its short life, the fad secured a firm spot in American’s history of bizarre fads. Lothrop…

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The oddly appealing Pet Rocks fad of the 1970’s

Cover of a pet rock box

Gary said, jokingly, that a “pet” rock would be an ideal pet to own.  He explained that a pet rock did not require feeding, walking, grooming, would not die or become sick and would not be disobedient.  In short, they would be the perfect pet.

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The Car Stuffing fad of the 1950’s

Car stuffing 1950s

In late 1959, as bored students returned from summer vacation, the sport of phone booth stuffing morphed into a new form. Volkswagen stuffing became all the rage as students tried to stuff as many people as possible into a Volkswagen car.

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The Hula Hoop fad of the 1960’s

Girl hula hoop 1963

Hula Hoops, the round hoop toy that is twirled around the waist, arms, legs, and neck, became popular in the late 1950’s when a new plastic version was marketed by California’s Wham-O toy company. The toy however, could not be patented because “hoop” toys were an ancient invention.

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The history of Panty Raids (1950’s)

Panty Raid

Functioning as humorous activities, groups of males raided all-female college residences (dormitories) to secure panties or other intimate apparel as “trophies”, proof that the guys had momentarily crossed a societal barrier and occupied the forbidden territory of a co-ed’s dorm room.

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