Boing! Boing!

Pogo sticks bounced into the Roaring Twenties as one of the decade’s most popular fads. Although there are a some often repeated stories about the origins of the pogo stick, no one is really sure who first came up with the idea or how. The first person to make them in America was George Hansburg. It seems Gimbels Department Store ordered a bunch from Europe and when they arrived ruined, asked Hansburg if he could design a sturdier version. He patented his design in 1919 and began making them that year. Almost at once, pogo sticks took the country by storm.

With a keen eye for marketing, Hansburg taught the performers at the Ziegfeld Follies how to jump, and the pogo had its stage introduction. After that, New York Hippodrome chorus girls performed whole shows on pogos. Soon contests were held—who could jump the longest? Who could do the craziest stunts?

The fad declined after the Twenties, but pogo sticks never disappeared. They have recently returned in a new guise, the Flybar, a super pogo stick that springs higher and farther than the original models.

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Published in: on April 10, 2011 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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