It’s time for the A to Z Challenge! Hello and welcome to my main blog. My name is Rose Anderson and I’m a novelist. Join me and nearly 2000 bloggers and authors as we blog the alphabet throughout the month of April. It’s not as easy as you might think. There’s a reason Q and Z are worth 10 points in Scrabble!
For me, this year’s alphabet will be about history and historical science– things that tickle my fancy or capture my imagination. I hope you will find them interesting too.
Keep the topic rolling! If you’ve enjoyed the today’s offering and have comments or questions, add them at the end of the post in the comment section. And…if you enjoy romances with unique twists, a good deal of steam, facts, and characters full of personality and depth, scroll down for a free chapter sampler. I love to make the impossible sound plausible. Suffice to say, I have an unusual mind.
When you were a child, did you ever see another kid do something and wished you could too? There were several things like that for me. Alas, I wasn’t a very coordinated child. For instance, some of my childhood chums could play paddle ball. Not me. I’d hit myself with the ball or miss the paddle completely. Twirl a baton? Nope. Jump double dutch jump rope? Not a chance. I could barely handle one rope let alone two. Another one was the yo-yo. I recall having only three good drops before the yo-yo stalled at the end of the string. But I had friends who could do tricks with their yo-yo’s, cool tricks like walk the dog where the yo-yo spins on the floor and actually comes back to your hand with a flick of the wrist. “It’s all in the wrist”, they said. Ha. It was all in their wrist.
The yo-yo ~ not just another toy
Believe it or not, the yo-yo has been around a long time. Some consider it to be the second oldest toy in history (the doll being older) but there isn’t concrete proof of that opinion. That the yo-yo shows up in many cultures around the world does suggest the yo-yo is a very old invention. A version of the yo-yo (what we’d call the diablo today) shows up in China nearly 4000 years ago. They also show up on Egyptian temple walls
Yo-yo’s used as toys in ancient Greece around 500 B.C.E. were discovered in archeological digs, and were made of metal, wood, and terra cotta and decorated with images of the gods. Though some historians argue these findings could simply be spools of thread, artwork on Grecian urns depict children doing yo-yo tricks such as walk the dog.
What’s in a name?
The word yo-yo is from Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines. Translated it means come come. I’ve found conflicting opinion on what the native people there actually using the yo-yo for. Some say it was just a toy. Others say it was a weapon and point to yo-yo artifacts at least 400 years old with knife-sharp edges and studs attached to 20-foot ropes for flinging at enemies. Hmm…why not? Bolas and slings were used as weapons. If you could fling a spinning blade at an enemy 20 feet away, you’d certainly have an edge. No pun intended. lol
The yo-yo arrived in France in the 1700s and became all the rage among high society. Even future King Louis XVII’s portrait was painted with him with a yo-yo in his hand. Later, the toy would be called l’emigrette, (the émigré), named for the aristocrats who fled France when the revolution began. To the English aristocrats, the toy was the bandalore or quiz. Illustrations from this time clearly show the yo-yo’s common appeal. From soldiers to kings, everyone played with the yo-yo. There are even paintings and sketches of Napoleon playing with his.
The yo-yo as we know it begins in the 1920s with Pedro Flores, a young Filipino émigré. While yo-yo’s were a common toy for passing the time in the Philippines it was virtually unknown in 1920s America. Pedro worked as a bellhop at a Santa Monica hotel and played with his wooden yo-yo on his breaks. He soon found himself drawing crowds of interested people. Seeing opportunity, he carved wooden yo-yo’s by hand and sold them. Before long, he had his own company– the Flores Yo-Yo Company.
Donald F. Duncan, inventor and entrepreneur, discovered Pedro’s yo-yo during a business trip to California and was intrigued. He bought the Flores Yo-Yo Company along with the yo-yo name in 1929. After tinkering with the toy, Duncan added the looped slip-string that allowed players to make their advanced yo-yo tricks.
Whatever their age, origin, or use, since the 1930s, over half a billion yo-yos have been made and sold.
The Duncan Yo-yo Youtube Channel — more awe-inspiring yo-yo champs here. Warning: Turn your volume down!
Tomorrow is the last ~ letter Z!!
My Other Happenings~
Weekend Writing Warriors
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My Sexy Saturday
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Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
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