We decided to talk about the history behind some of of the forgotten gems! Today is Drive In Movie Day, and it’s also Yo-Yo day! So we gave you all the ins and outs and who knews of these days!
DRIVE IN MOVIES…
On June 6th, 1933, motorists parked their automobiles on the grounds of ‘Park-In Theaters’, the first-ever drive-in movie theater, located on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey.
The term “drive-in” came to be widely used only later–was the brainchild of Richard Hollingshead, a movie fan and a sales manager at his father’s company, Whiz Auto Products, in Camden.
Hollingshead was inspired by his mother’s struggle to sit comfortably in traditional movie theater seats, so he came up with the idea of an open-air theater where patrons watched movies in the comfort of their own automobiles.
He experimented in the driveway of his own house with different projection and sound techniques, mounting a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car, pinning a screen to some trees, and placing a radio behind the screen for sound.
While testing his ideas at his home, he also tested ways to guard against rain and other inclement weather, and devised the ideal spacing arrangement for a number of cars so that all would have a view of the screen.
After finalizing his concepts, Hollingshead received a patent for the concept in May of 1933 and opened Park-In Theaters, Inc. less than a month later, with an initial investment of $30,000.
Advertising it as entertainment for the whole family, Hollingshead charged 25 cents per car and 25 cents per person, with no group paying more than one dollar.
Hollingshead’s patent was overturned in 1949, drive-in theaters began popping up all over the country. One of the largest was the All-Weather Drive-In located in New York, which featured parking space for 2,500 cars, a kid’s playground and a full service restaurant, all on a 28-acre lot.
The popularity of the drive-in spiked after World War II and reached its heyday in the late 1950s to mid-60s, with some 5,000 theaters across the country. Drive-ins became an icon of American culture, and a typical weekend destination not just for parents and children but also for teenage couples seeking some privacy.
Since then, however, the rising price of real estate, especially in suburban areas, combined with the growing numbers of walk-in theaters and the rise of video rentals to curb the growth of the drive-in industry. Today, fewer than 500 drive-in theaters survive in the United States.
The history of the Yo-Yo goes all the way back to 440 BC, where there are records of a Greek vase painting from showing a boy playing with a yo-yo. Greek records from the period describe toys made out of wood, metal, or painted terra cotta (fired clay).
Jumping forward in history, In 1928, Pedro Flores opened the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, California. The business started with a dozen handmade toys; by November 1929, Flores was operating two additional factories in Los Angeles and Hollywood, which altogether employed 600 workers and produced 300,000 units daily.
The main difference between the Flores design and more primitive yo-yos is in the way the yo-yo is strung. In older yo-yo designs, the string is tied to the axle using a knot. With this technique, the yo-yo just goes back-and-forth; it returns easily, but it is impossible to make it sleep. In Flores’s design, one continuous piece of string, double the desired length, is twisted around something to produce a loop at one end which is fitted around the axle.
When the yo-yo is first released, the throw gives it translational kinetic energy. As the string unwinds, much of this energy is converted into rotational kinetic energy, causing the yo-yo to spin rapidly. As the yo-yo unwinds, it also gains some energy from gravity. Because the yo-yo has significant rotational inertia, it can store enough energy in its rotation to fight gravity all the way back up to the hand.
The string winds in the opposite direction upon the return of the yo-yo. If the string is connected to the shaft with a loop, there may not be enough friction to overcome gravity and begin winding the string. In this case, the yo-yo will continue to spin at the end of the string instead of returning. However, if the yo-yo is jerked slightly, it will enter free fall for a brief moment, and the string’s friction becomes the most significant force on the yo-yo. This allows the slack string to bind, and the energy from the yo-yo’s rotation finishes the rest of the return.
Around 1929, an entrepreneur named Donald F. Duncan recognized the potential of this new fad and purchased the Flores yo-yo Corporation and all its assets, including the Flores name, which was transferred to the new company in 1932.
The name “Yo-yo” was registered in 1932 as a trademark by Sam Dubiner in Vancouver, Canada. Harvey Lowe won the first World Yo-Yo Contest in London, England.
In 1932, Swedish yo-yos started to be manufactured as well.
In 1946, the Duncan Toys Company opened a yo-yo factory in Luck, Wisconsin. The Duncan yo-yo was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York, in 1999.
Declining sales after the Second World War prompted Duncan to launch a comeback campaign for his trademarked “Yo-Yo” in 1962 with a series of television advertisements.
In a trademark case in 1965, a federal court’s appeals ruled in favor of the Royal Tops Company, determining that yo-yo had become a part of common speech and that Duncan no longer had exclusive rights to the term.
Thanks for listening!
– Lilly and Todd