Although the exact origins of hula hoops are unknown, children and adults around the world have played with hoops, twirling, rolling and throwing them throughout history. Hula hoops generally measure approximately 28 inches in diameter. Traditional materials for hoops include willow, rattan (a flexible and strong vine), grapevines and stiff grasses. Today, they are often made of plastic tubing.
Throughout history, the hula hoop has been used in various cultures for a number of purposes. In ancient Greece, citizens used the hula hoop as a form of exercise. In Egypt around 3,000 years ago, hoops made out of grape vines were propelled around the ground with sticks. Native Americans used hoops as a target for teaching accuracy for hunting. The word "hula" was added in the early 18th century as sailors who visited Hawaii.
Plastic hula hoops were first made and sold in Australia. In 1957, Coles department store sold bamboo hoops, but the supplier couldn't produce enough to meet demand. So they invited Alex Tolmer, the founder of ,“Toltoys“ to produce plastic ones. Toltoys sold 400,000 plastic hoops in 1957. In 1958, Melin and Knerr of Wham-O started to market hula hoops in the USA, selling 100 million over that summer. The craze lasted from January to October, then suddenly died. In only four months, an estimated 80 to 100 million of them were sold in 1958.
In 1957 the hula hoop was reinvented by Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin, the founders of the WHAM-O toy company. The idea came from an Australian who had visited California who told Knerr and Melin about children twirling bamboo hoops around the waist in gym class. The new Hula Hoops were made possible by Marlex, a recently invented durable plastic.
After the hoop was released in 1958,Wham-O sold 25 million in the first four months and over 100 million in its first year. As the fad ran its course, WHAM-O again struck lucky with the release of their “Frisbee”
An early duration record for the hula hoop was set by 11-year-olds Paulette Robinson, Charles Beard and Patsy Jo Grigby in Jackson, Mississippi lasting 11 hours and 34 minutes (August, 1960).
The current record is held by Roxanne Rose of the USA, who went 90 hours between April 2nd, and April 6th, 1987.
-Most Hula Hoops Twirled at Once:
The record for the most hoops twirled simultaneously is 105, set by Jin Linlin, on October 28, 2007.
(References: Hula Hoop
wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
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