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If you like to research unusual holidays, you probably know that today is National Rubber Day. It’s a day that exists because, although many people have owned a rubber ducky at some point, not many people know the history of the popular bath toy. Below, get to know the history of rubber ducks and how to celebrate the quirky National Rubber Ducky Day holiday.
When were rubber duckies invented?
Both the creator of National Rubber Ducky Day and the first rubber ducky are unknown. However, what is known is that the intriguing history of this common bath toy can be traced to the late 1800s. After rubber manufacturing emerged in the 19th century, many rubber-molded toys were created, and rubber dolls and several animal shapes, including the rubber duck, were mass-produced.
In 1928, Landon Smart Lawrence became the first person to receive a patent for a rubber duck toy. His variation of the rubber ducky was weighted so that, when the bath toy tipped, it would return to an upright position. His patent came between World Wars I and II, during both of which rubber became a valued commodity and had to be rationed. When plastic became popular In the 1940s, it gradually started replacing the rubber in these bath toys, as did vinyl.
A Russian sculptor named Peter Ganine is believed to have created today’s commonly known rubber duck design. In 1949, he patented the toy for 14 years and sold more than 50 million ducks before his patent expired.
When and how did rubber duckies become popular?
In 1933, a latex supplier created a collection of affordable rubber duckies. The duckies were modeled after popular cartoon characters and became top sellers. The rubber ducky became even more popular in the 1970s when, on children’s TV show Sesame Street, Ernie first sang the song “Rubber Duckie” while holding his favorite bath toy. The song rose to number 16 on Billboard’s Hot 100, and to this day, children around the world love the song.
Who usually buys rubber duckies?
Although parents usually buy rubber duckies for their children, some adults also buy the popular bath toy as a novelty. Charlotte Lee, an American woman, holds the Guinness world record for having the largest rubber duck collection. She started her collection in 1996 and has since gathered more than 9,000 floatable ducks as of 2019.
In 2001, it was revealed that Queen Elizabeth II had a rubber duck in her bathroom that sported an inflatable crown. After this funny revelation, sales of the rubber duckies soared in Britain.
How is National Rubber Ducky Day celebrated?
In celebration of National Rubber Ducky Day, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has created a collection of large ducks in various cities around the world. His art has been featured in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Amsterdam, São Paulo, Hong Kong, and other cities around the world, and many people have attended his exhibitions on the holiday.
Another way to celebrate National Rubber Duck Day could be buying rubber ducks from a business that offers sales or specials. Some companies have made announcements recognizing National Rubber Ducky Day by awarding customers with discounts or free products.
Of course, the easiest way to celebrate is to take a relaxing bath with a rubber duck. With a soothing bubble bath, some calming music, and a rubber duck, you’ll have an impeccable day.