Betty James, who, with her husband Richard, invented the slinky in 1945, died last week at the age of 90. Although Richard came up with the idea for the iconic coil, Betty named the toy, and the two marketed and demonstrated it together. Moreover, after Richard up and left for a cult in Bolivia in 1959, Betty took over raising their 6 kids and the management of the company. Betty felt strongly about keeping the Slinky affordable, saying, “So many children can’t have expensive toys, and I feel a real obligation to them. I’m appalled when I go Christmas shopping and $60 to $80 for a toy is nothing. With 16 grandchildren you can go into the national debt.” [New York Times, Obit]
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