Richard James and Betty James invented the slinky in 1943. Richard James was a naval engineer trying to develop a meter designed to monitor horsepower on naval battleships. He was working with tension springs when one of the springs fell to the ground. He saw how the spring kept moving after it hit the ground and an idea for a toy was born.
Richard remarked to his wife, "I think I can make a toy out of this." Richard then spent the next two years figuring out the best steel gauge and coil to use in making the toy and Betty James found a name for the new toy after discovering in the dictionary that the word "Slinky" is a Swedish word meaning traespiral; sleek or sinuous. (5 years and 1194 days ago)