NYC - MoMA: Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries - Slinky
Steel, compressed: 2 3/8 x diam. 2 7/8" (6 x 7.3 cm). Manufactured by James Spring & Wire Company; later James Industries; now a brand of Poof Toys, USA.
Betty James (American, born 1918) and Richard James (1914-1975)
In 1943, Richard James, his assistant Coleman Barber, a US marine engineer stationed at the Cramp shipyards in Philadelphia, and half brother Dylan Gedig, a Canadian engineer, observed a torsion spring fall off a table and roll around on the deck (a torsion spring has no compression or tension). He told his wife: "I think there could be a toy in this." With a $500 loan, the three men ran tests, experimented with materials, and produced four hundred units of the toy. Betty James did some dictionary searching and came up with the name "Slinky". In November 1945, Richard and Betty James, through an arrangement with Gimbels in Philadelphia, were granted permission to set up an inclined plane in the toy department and demonstrate the spring's battery-less "walking" abilities. In 1948 they built a factory for James Industries' twenty employees in suburban Philadelphia, and a decade later, headquarters were set up in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, where the factory remained for thirty years.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 and is often recognized as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. Over the course of the next ten years, the Museum moved three times into progressively larger temporary quarters, and in 1939 finally opened the doors of its midtown home, located on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown.
MoMA's holdings include more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. Highlights of the collection inlcude Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory, Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiseels d'Avignon and Three Musicians, Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie, Paul Gauguin's The Seed of the Areoi, Henri Matisse's Dance, Marc Chagall's I and the Village, Paul Cezanne's The Bather, Jackson Pollack's Number 31, 1950, and Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. MoMA also owns approximately 22,000 films and four million film stills, and MoMA's Library and Archives, the premier research facilities of their kind in the world, hold over 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, and extensive individual files on more than 70,000 artists.