The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News


Extract from the December 27, 1946 edition of the Vineyard Gazette:

Slinky’s fame has spread even to the vineyard, and rightly so, as Slinky has an association with the island, like most people and good and smart things. This seductive toy is the brain child of Richard T. James, the nephew of Miss Edith James of Vineyard Haven, and is well known here. Mr. James and Slinky were written in the Saturday Evening Post last week, by Robert M. Yoder, in a report to editors.

Mr. James, it seems, is a Marine Engineer, Penn State ’39, and during the war years he was employed as a “warranty engineer”, representing builders on certain test cruises. of the Navy’s most famous combat ships. It is the study of the spring on which was suspended a torsionmeter, used to test the power delivered by the engines, which caused the birth of the Slinky.

When he knocked one off his desk, he noticed it was bouncing like a goblet and having other interesting and provocative ways. Mr. James’ son Tommy thought one of them was a wonderful toy, as did his playmates. Vaguely convinced he had something there, the idea crystallized when Tommy put one of the still unbaptized springs on the step and pulled the top of the spring to the next step, only to see it calmly descend the steps. His other tall junks in his lineage led Mr. James to embark on the design of a toy with the same talents.

He had a few made in 1944, but the stores were not interested. A month before Christmas, however, one of them phoned to say he could use some if he wanted to serve as a salesperson, which he and his wife did, selling 400, their entire stock. , in an hour and a half. It started the ball rolling, and it went so fast that in October of this year he was making 22,000 a week, selling 430,000, owning his own business and factory, and was done with engineering. , At least for the moment.

Slinky, as it eventually evolved, is not actually a spring, but a coil, a ribbon of steel seventy-nine feet long. It looks like a bunch of piston rings, but the toy’s personality leads you to think of it as something almost human.

The Post concludes by stating that Mr. James is now able to take a little spin at a sport tried out in Atlantic City, the Slinkys Race. The Gazette can report that a group of adults spent an evening shopping for Slinkys on the stairs, with a shareholder, and gave the attendees a lot of applause as they deliberately tumbled down the stairs.

The Navy evacuated the last of its forces from Martha’s Vineyard Airport, formerly Martha’s Vineyard NAAS, on Monday, leaving the entire facility in county control, with Burnham Litchfield as manager.

The county now has a revocable license under which, says Litchfield, it agrees to maintain the buildings it occupies and to act as caretaker for others.

Until July 1945, the field represented an expenditure in Navy funds of approximately $ 3,000,000. The first Navy personnel arrived on the ground, then called the NAAF, on March 26, 1943. In September 1945, the station was converted from a facility to a station. On May 1, 1946, the field was placed on custodial status, and on June 29, the county assumed active management and the field was opened for airlines and other civilian air activities. On December 23, 1946, the Navy finally moved.

Now, in the interval between Christmas and New Years, the old things seem to be running out. That short, cold week of short days and late morning suns could easily be the Dead Sea of ​​the year, sequestered and closed between the two holidays, but in reality it’s not. Both holidays serve as ramparts for a time to protect our minds from what has been and what is to come. We drift, we look around, we think without the usual urgency of thought.

Here we are, in the gap between the best of the old and the hope of the new, and we so sincerely want to tell them together.

Not a discouraging word shall we say. The brighter the hope, the better, the higher the intention, the greater the merit of each. In 1947, how good things emerge and flourish, both inside and outside the inhabitants of this island and this battered world! To all of us we say happy new year!

Tisbury Town Hall, long known as Association Hall, is being painted. Most people have lost track of how many times this issue has been raised in town halls, but the continuing unrest has paid off. This week, the ET Walker company assigned its team of simple and sophisticated interior and exterior decorating experts, as well as ground and horizon riggers, to work.

The hall, formerly a church, and still adorned with its belfry and its spire, will receive two coats of white, and the high old-fashioned blinds will be painted green. A worthy landmark for all preservation efforts, the Town Hall should soon take on an appearance of beauty and dignity in harmony with its setting.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox

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