Author: mortaljourney

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Phone Booth Stuffing (1950’s)

In early 1959, twenty five students attempted something nobody had ever tried before. The South African students of Durban tried to see if all twenty five could fit into a phone booth. They succeeded and submitted their achievement to the Guinness Book of World Records. Soon, others heard about the bizarre stunt and attempts at phone booth stuffing (or cramming) began all over the world.

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Goldfish Swallowing (1940’s)

It began in the 1930’s, a fad so bizarre; some mistakenly believe it to be an urban legend. Goldfish swallowing, where a live goldfish is swallowed, started in the mid 1939 and sizzled out a few months later. Few fads can be traced back to one person but the origination of goldfish swallowing is well documented. It began with a single man.

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The Jitterbug Dance (1940’s)

Popular in the 1940’s, the Jitterbug dance originated two decades earlier in African American dance clubs in and around Harlem, New York. Unflatteringly, the Jitterbug dance term came to be associated with swing dancers who danced without any control or knowledge of proper dance moves, such uncontrolled dance movements because typically the dancers were drunk. In fact, the term jitterbug comes from an early 20th-centry slang term used to describe alcoholics who suffered from the “jitters”.

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Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls (1980’s)

It was 1979 when Xavier Roberts and five of his friends developed the Little People Originals dolls, a loveable but odd looking children’s toy that would soon become known as the Cabbage Patch Kids. Roberts, a sculptor from Georgia with a love for sculpting and quilting, was the manager of a craft store. Working part-time to put himself through college, he stumbled across a grand idea, a new way to market his dolls that would very quickly make him rich beyond his wildest dreams.

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Pet Rocks (1970’s)

In April 1975, Gary Dahl, a Los Gatos, California advertising executive, was in a bar listening to his friends complain about their pets. Although adorable and loveable, barking, dirty litter boxes, tearing up furniture, and constant feeding and care made messy pets somewhat of a nuisance at times. Gary said, jokingly, that a “pet” rock would be an ideal pet to own. He explained that a pet rock did not require feeding, walking, grooming, would not die or become sick and would not be disobedient. In short, they would be the perfect pet. When Gary arrived back home, he began thinking – maybe a pet rock was not such a bad idea after all. If it were marketed well, it just might work.

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Illegal downloading of files

File sharing is the sharing or distribution over the Internet of electronic files such as multimedia files (moves and music), electronic books, video games, and any other digitally formatted media. With the movement of popular entertainment mediums to electronic formats, file sharing has become quite common and widespread. Popular with teens, file sharing often involves copyrighted properties such as music or movie MP3 files and hence, is typically considered illegal.

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Lemon Twist (or Footsie) Toy (1970’s)

Rarely has a toy reemerged over and over again as a hit “new toy” as the Lemon Twist (or Jingle Jump, Footsie, Skip-A-Roo, or Skip It) has done. First introduced in the late 1960’s as the Footsie toy, it became very popular for several few years before gradually fading away into obscurity. Then in the mid-1970’s the toy reemerged as the Lemon Twist toy and became one of the top selling toys of the decade.

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The Frisbee Flying Disc (1970’s)

Flying disc toys have been thrown by people about as long as flat round objects existed. In the United States, two simultaneous “inventions” of the flying disc occurred on opposite ends of the country while a major tweaking of the disc design and a hearty dose of marketing set off the 1970’s Frisbee craze that lasted for nearly two decades.

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Chewing Gum (1890’s)

From 1890 to 1900 was the greatest era in the history of chewing gum in the United States. The press, the pulpit, and the medical profession were largely occupied in denouncing the “vulgar” habit as detrimental to mankind. Sparked by an off-chance discovery of the perfect chewing gum ingredient, the chewing gum craze took off in early 1890 and continued its grand run for well over a decade.

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The Teddy Bear or Teddy’s Bear (1900’s)

Stuffed with soft, white cotton and covered with smooth, soft fur the Teddy Bear is an enduring stuffed animal loved by children all over the world. When the Teddy Bear was invented in the 1900’s, its popularity soared and turned its inventors from sole proprietors of a local candy store into one of the largest toy companies in history.