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Toys and Games ➔ Kalamazoo Toy

Identifier:
2018.26.9
Description:
The toy consists of a blue disc with holes drilled through the middle and along the outside edge, with a looped string, and two blue plastic handles on either side. It was manufactured by Vogt App. Co. in Kalamazoo, MI. This toy looks to be a more sophisticated version of a button spinner, part of the whirligig toy family, which has been around for over 5,000 years. While this is a children's toy, similar devices have been tested as low-cost centrifuges for liquid samples like blood in places without electricity.

To use, the toy is held by the handles on either end of the string and twirled around several times. Then the string is pulled taut and the disk spins as the string unwinds. When timed properly, releasing the tension of the string will make the string wind itself in the opposite direction, and will cause the disk to spin in the opposite direction. If done properly, the toy will start to produce a "whoosh" sound because of the moving air. It can spin at speeds of about 10,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) or faster.
Materials:
Plastic, String
Source:
Gift of Vicki Burghdoff
Links:
http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/how to make button spinners.html;https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/01/button-spinner-health-care/512549/
Exhibit/Program
Toys! (2018 – 2019)
The Grand Rapids Public Museum will present an interactive, multi-generational exhibition of toys and games sure to rekindle childhood memories and spark the creation of new ones.  This GRPM original exhibit will feature toys and games from the museum’s collections in meticulously crafted displays representing childhood in different eras.
Maker/Donor
Vicki Burghdoff