Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Did You Know Tuesday: Hula Hoops

What?  Don't you hula hoop while vacuuming?  It's my favorite way to exercise while doing housework!   (Not really, but it does look like fun.)

Hula hoops - I think we all played with them as kids.  They are such a simple toy, but lots of fun, especially outdoors in summer.  

I was surprised to learn that hula hoops have been around since ancient times in Greece.  In the 1300s they came to Great Britain.  Later when British sailors travelled to the Hawaiian Islands, they saw hula dancers, and invented the phrase "hula hoop" for this toy.

The hula hoop toy as we know it was invented in 1958 by Arthur K. "Spud" Melin and Richard Knerr.  Hula hoops were a tremendous hit with children and teens, and over twenty million hula hoops sold in just six months. They were made by Wham-O toys and originally sold for just $1.98.

Shoop Shoop hula hoops, introduced in 1965, made noise when you played with them.  Originally this came from little walnut shell pieces, which were later replaced with BBs.  I loved Shoop Shoop hula hoops as a little girl!  Below, you'll find a vintage ad for this toy:

I've often thought that it would be fun to have a hula hoop again for exercise.  I wonder if I would still be able to hula hoop.  How about you -- do you remember this toy?  Any memories to share?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.


Diana L. said...

A friend gifted my daughter with a hula hoop, it was fun to show her how to use it, enevthough it's a little to big for her!

Pellerini said...

I used to love to hula hoop! My boys do now and they are great at it -me not so much ;)

Mary Huckaby said...

In 1957 I was in a hula hoop contest at the local supermarket. Kids from all over town hula hooped in the big parking lot and we were timed. I was able to last 45 minutes, but the winner hula hooped for 8 hours! Thanks for taking me back to the 50's, Trish! I always enjoy your posts!!

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks for the visits! Mary, that is a wonderful story about the hula hoop contest! It sounds like such a fun time.


Anonymous said...

I have one of these that I just got that was included in a lot I bought in an auction.

Birdhouse Books said...

What a fun find in an auction lot!