Richard Knerr dies at 82 … Co-Founder of Wham-O Toys … The day the Frisbee & Hula Hoop Died


Talk about a death that brings many of us back to the days of our childhood. FrisbeeRichard Knerr has died at the age of 82 after earlier in the day suffering a stroke. Richard Knerr was one of the co-founders of Wham-O, the toy company that brought us such classic and timeless toys as the Frisbee, the Hula Hoop, the Superball, the Slip ‘N Slide and Silly String.

The amount of enjoyment that Richard Knerr and his late partner, Arthur “Spud” Melin, provided generations of kids and adults a like can probably never be matched. Thank you for such timeless classics like the Frisbee, the Hula Hoop and Silly String. Richard Knerr … Rest in peace,

Knerr, who started Wham-O in 1948 with his childhood friend Arthur “Spud” Melin, died Monday at Methodist Hospital after suffering a stroke earlier in the day at his Arcadia home, his wife Dorothy told the Los Angeles Times.

They branched into other sporting goods, including boomerangs and Sillystringcrossbows, then added toys that often bore such playful names as the Superball, Slip ‘N Slide and Silly String.

When a friend told them in 1958 about a large ring used for exercise in Australia, they devised their own version and called it the Hula Hoop.

Around the same time, they bought the rights to a plastic flying disc invented by Walter “Fred” Morrison, who called it the Pluto Platter. Wham-O bought the rights and renamed it the Frisbee.

The rest is amusement history. (Yahoo News)

Posted January 17, 2008 by
Deceased, Fun, Obituary | 2 comments

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  • Comments

    2 Responses to “Richard Knerr dies at 82 … Co-Founder of Wham-O Toys … The day the Frisbee & Hula Hoop Died”

    1. LilPuma on January 17th, 2008 6:53 pm

      I’m proud to be of a generation that had toys and hours, even years, of fun, with things that didn’t need to be plug in, downloaded, uploaded, didn’t even need batteries in most cases. The exception would be slip ‘n’ slide which required the backyard water hose. RIP Richard Knerr

    2. Jerry from Ohio on January 17th, 2008 7:55 pm

      Your right on there Richard, Many many hours of fun and cooling off in the summer heat . Remember Kool- Aid that you had to add your own sugar from moms pantry . and maybe a special treat HOMEMADE hand squeezed Lemon aid .
      There is still nothing that is bottled or canned commercially that can even compare ti that cool summertime treat .
      We also went out after chores in the AM we awoke at 5 AM to milk 60 Cows . (I lived on a Farm )
      and until lunch time our moms wouldn’t see us till almost dark and we made our own games and such .
      Kids now days would think themselves being abused by having play outside with No electric nor highly animated creatures on a TV screen .
      yours Jerry from Ohio . I’ll bet Old Fart will remember a lot of these play days .

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