SURPRISING STORIES BEHIND EVERYDAY STUFF
By: Stephanie Warren Drimmer
Published: September 10, 2019
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
From ordinary objects you have probably never given a thought to, you will now know how they came to be with some often unexpected origins. Chapters include toys and games, food, fashion, tools, around the house, sports and entertainment, beauty, hygiene, and medicine, and holidays.
In the toy category, a time-line of toy history is shared with brief notes about their creation including beanie babies, Furby, and the Nintendo Wii. I also enjoyed the pages on the history of tokens from the Monopoly game. We all have a favorite token that we must use every time we play!
In the fashion category, jeans initially were created for miners during the gold rush, who kept tearing their pants as they would slide through the narrow mine shafts. Then farmers and laborers got wind of the sturdy material. Eventually, celebrities started wearing them in the 50s and 60s, and the rest, as they say, is history.
In the 1920s, a quarterback accidentally passed a ball to a referee because he was also wearing white. The referee, Lloyd Olds, decided something needed to be done, and a friend of his designed the black and white striped shirt we know today.
Before nail clippers were invented, people used knives to peel their nails, much like peeling an apple. But, in the 1800’s you wouldn’t have been caught cutting your nails on the weekend, because it was sure to bring bad luck!
Earl Tupper, a chemist, invented plastic that could be formed into cups and bowls with airtight lids called Tupperware. But, it was Brownie Wise who knew that no one would be interested in the products if they didn’t see for themselves how it worked. She began what we know as Tupperware parties and forever changed the lives of women both as housewives and entrepreneurs.
So many interesting stories of things we see and use every day are included in this book. Again, parents and kids will find these stories interesting. Sharing a story over dinner will encourage conversations about how these ideas helped shape the way we do things today…although you may want to save the stories on bathrooms and toilets for a different time!
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