Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011


Though its history can be traced back to nearly 500 B.C., the yo-yo didn't find mainstream success until the late 1920s, when a young U.S. immigrant named Pedro Flores ignited an international craze. Born in the Philippines, Flores saw the toy's potential in the U.S. after remembering its Filipino popularity. (It had received the name yoyo there hundreds of years before.) While working as a bellboy, Flores founded the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in 1928. After selling handmade yo-yos to children around Los Angeles, he was able to secure financing to open a factory. Within a year, the company was producing 300,000 yo-yos a day, and Flores' "Wonder Toy" achieved craze status in the U.S., with yo-yo contests popping up all over the country.