In 1955 Joseph and Noah McVickers owned and operated Kutol Chemicals, a company that specialized in making soap and wallpaper cleaner. Doesn’t sound very interesting, does it? Yet they would touch the lives of almost every American child for the next fifty years and millions of others world-wide.
It just so happened that one of Kutol’s products was a wallpaper cleaning compound that had the look and consistency of bread dough. It was intended for a very small market and very limited use. But destiny had other plans.
A New Toy
Joseph McVickers’ sister-in-law, Kay, was a kindergarten teacher and had read an article about making Christmas tree ornaments from a “wallpaper cleaner”—Kutol’s own wallpaper cleaning compound. Kay purchased a can and gave it to her class to play with. Don’t worry. The compound was non-toxic, and is simply made of wheat flour, mineral oil, salt, and (among other things) fragrance. The kids had a ball. Joseph and Noah McVickers tested it on other pre-school and kindergarten classes in their city, Cincinnati, and the results were all the same. Teachers and students loved it. Unlike modeling clay, it wasn’t messy and didn’t stain. Even when it was rubbed into carpet and clothing, simple water and soap could wash it out.
The next year Joseph and Noah started the Rainbow Crafts Company and filed a patent for their “plastic modeling composition.” And, thus, Play-Doh was born. Since that time Play-Doh has grown from one color (white, in its first year), to four colors (white, yellow, blue, red), to 50. World-wide more than 900 million pounds of Play-Doh have been produced in the last fifty years, with 95 million cans sold annually in 75 countries. Life certainly changed for a product only meant for a handful of users as ordinary wallpaper cleaner. It found its way into the happy childhood memories of millions.
Ordinary to Extraordinary
God does the same thing with human beings. He takes the ordinary and uses them in extraordinary ways. He takes our ordinary words, deeds, and gifts and uses them to perform the miraculous. When we place our lives into his hands He blesses them and gives them eternal significance. “We’re only lumps of tissue, the result of random chance genetic mutations,” many tell us. But the Scripture tells us that God has wonderfully and fearfully made us and has a marvelous plan for our lives (Ps. 139:13–18; Jer. 29:11). If we will place ourselves in His almighty and all loving hands and seek His guidance, He will fulfill His eternal purpose for us.
Dear Father in heaven, please take my dreams, my goals, my future, and my whole being. Make me into the person Your created me to be and fulfill Your will for my life. Amen.
Information from "Play-Doh was Originally Wallpaper", http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/11/play-doh-was-originally-wallpaper-cleaner/
In article photo: Adopt-A-school by the U.S. Army licensed under CC BY 2.0