The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Birth Of The Slinky

The National World War II Museum posted this example of serendipity.  In 1943, a Naval engineer named Richard James was trying to develop new kinds of springs to protect sensitive equipment from motion while at sea.  One of the experimental springs fell off a shelf or table, and "walked" down a series of surfaces.  Named by Mrs. James, the Slinky was born, and the rest is history.  During the holiday season of 1945, the Gimbels department store let the couple demonstrate the toy.  All 400 of the very first units were sold in thirty minutes. 

No comments: