Chapter 2. It’s an Old Soul, but It’s Got a Young Heart.
The hoop is an old thing. I mean really old. It’s a circle. The first human invention. Wall drawings date back to 1000 B.C. of Egyptians playing with hoops which were probably made out of grapevine and stiff grasses. Hoops are old. They’ve been around since nearly the dawn of man. History of hoops and circles is everywhere. The Greeks used trochus, and Native Americans used hoop dances for healing. In France, the hoop was used in dances to honor Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. Australian children used hoops to entertain the Queen. And when British soldiers returned home from war and saw the kids swinging wooden hoops around their hips, the parallels were made between the hula dance, and the hoops. Hooping became known as Hula-Hooping.
But it was Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin, founders of Wham-O who in 1958 reinvented human’s first invention. Trademarking the Hula Hoop, the age old toy was then marketed and mass produced. Millions of plastic hollow tubes were sold all over the country. By 1959, Wham-O sold over a 100 million.
By the 60’s, sales had dropped significantly, and the $1.98 hoop was no longer Wham-O’s #1 seller.
It wasn’t until the 90’s that the hoop was yet again somewhat reinvented.