Happy National Rubber Ducky Day—January 13, 2020. Who can’t crack a smile when you spy a bright one of those yellow, orange-billed, floating ducks? I thought it’d be fun to take a look at the history of these cutie pies.
Did you know when they came on the scene in the late 1880s they couldn’t float? Manufacturers were taking advantage of the vulcanizing process that Charles Goodyear developed and cast those ducks in hard rubber. They weren’t for bath time back then. They were made to chew on. So, I guess a lot of babies were trying out their new teeth on the happy birds.
Rubber ducks learned to swim in the 1940s and became a favorite toy to float around the bathtub. The Strong National Museum of Play, in Rochester, New York, says the cheerful toys help sharpen toddlers’ senses, inspire water play, and ease the fear of water. A rubber ducky gliding by makes tub time fun while the young ones learn the ropes of hygiene.
The song “Rubber Duckie,” by Jim Henson made the big time in 1970 when Ernie from Sesame Street sang the song to his favorite bath time pal. The tune actually rose to number 16 on the Billboard charts.
Today, you can get your ducks dressed like rock stars, sports figures, and in holiday attire. That’s just a few of the costume changes. Rubber ducky aficionados acquire their little treasures on shower curtains, towels, wallpaper, and a bunch of other items too.
For a long time now, these toy ducks have been made from latex, but they will always be our rubber duckies.
Check these links for more:
The Strong National Museum of Play
Channel 5 from South Burlington, VT