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Hula Hoop  - Frisbee Inventor Passes today at age 82 ARCADIA, Calif., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Richard Knerr, co-founder of Wham-O, which gave the world the Hula Hoop and the Frisbee, has died at an Arcadia, Calif., hospital at 82. Knerr died Monday at Methodist Hospital after suffering a stroke earlier in the day at his home, his wife, Dorothy, told the Los Angeles Times. Knerr and his boyhood buddy Arthur "Spud" Melin started the company in 1948 in Pasadena. They named the enterprise Wham-O for the sound that their first product, a slingshot, made when it hit its target. Dozens of toys followed that often bore playful names like Superball, Slip 'N Slide and the Water Wiggle. But, they hit it big with a redesigned bamboo ring used for exercise in Australia that became one of the most popular fads of all time -- the Hula Hoop. Knerr and Melin figure they sold 25 million hoops in four months in the late 1950s. It had one major fault: it never wore out. In 1958, while the hoop was going great guns, the team came up with the Frisbee, another wildly popular fad that sold an estimated 100 million over the next 30 years. In addition to his wife, Knerr, who was born June 30, 1925, in San Gabriel,Calif., was survived by three children, two stepchildren and eight grandchildren. Melin died in 2002.
Tags: Hula  Hoop    -  Frisbee  Inventor  Passes  today  at  age  82 
Added: 18th January 2008
Views: 1958
Posted By: Old Fart
Posted by: Naomi on 2008-01-18 
I can't believe these men made a fortune selling those hoops. I was one of the muillions of kids who spent endless hours hula hooping, back then every girl had to have one. The good thing about it was they were dirt cheap so parents didn't mind buying them!
Posted by: Teresa on 2008-01-18 
i still HAVE one!! it has the little balls in it that make noise (just a plus for the parents who had to listen to it!!) LOL
Posted by: Naomi on 2008-01-18 
The ones with the little balls inside were the newer ones, I didn't have that in mine. It was just plain plastic, in different colors.
Posted by: Marty6697 on 2008-01-18 
The frisbee was my Favorite. remember many days whipping a Frisbee around. Used to sling it make it move right before ya catch it, move up right before ya try to catch it, If ya could Lol Yup! Good excercise too! Most of the time slamming a few cold ones at same time Lol
Posted by: Steve on 2008-01-18 
I thought Marty McFly invented the Frisbee!
Posted by: beev50 on 2009-12-29 
I thought frisbee was a pie pan? Which said frisbee on it.
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