Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Mr. Potato Head

George Lerner of New York City invented and patented Mr. Potato Head in 1952. Based on an earlier toy called "make a face" that used a real potato, Lerner designed his all-plastic toy as a prize for cereal premiums. Lerner sold Mr. Potato Head to the Hassenfeld Brothers of Rhode Island, who owned Hasbro Inc., the toy company. Hasbro sold the first Mr. Potato Head with a styrofoam head as a base for the facial plug-ins. However, instructions were included that suggested the use of vegetables and fruits instead of the styrofoam.

In 1953 Mr. Potato Head meets and marries Mrs. Potato Head. The couple eventually has a crop of over a dozen small fries. In 1987 Mr. Potato Head loses his pipe and becomes the official 'spokespud' of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout.

Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on television. In 1985, he received four write-in votes in the mayoral election in Boise, Idaho. Today, Hasbro, Inc. still manufactures Mr. Potato Head.