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Masthead Spinning PlatesMasthead Spinning Plates

Created 8-Jan-18
Modified 20-Apr-21
Visitors 141
22 photos
If you are old enough to have seen the variety shows of the late 1950s (such as The Ed Sullivan Show), or watched reruns on YouTube, you may remember the popular craze of spinning plates. TV audiences sat transfixed as a performer balanced one plate after another atop sticks attached to a table and set them in motion with a few quick flicks of the wrist. As each one began to slow down to a wobble, the act became a suspenseful race against time to see how many plates the performer could manage without any falling off the stick. Each new act tried to outdo the previous one.

Quite a number of manufacturers raced to satisfy the eager market of youngsters who wanted to emulate what they had seen on TV. But it was a relatively short-lived phenomenon and the craze was soon over by the early 1960s.

Most of the brands also gave instructions about tossing the plates like any of the other flying disc already available, so we have included them here in our wing of the Museum.

—Phil Kennedy
Archer Plastics—Ski-Pi—Red, TopArcher Plastics—Ski-Pi—Red, Bottom w/LabelArcher Plastics—Ski-Pi—Red, BottomDuncan Toys Company—Duncan Koo-Lee Hat—RedDuncan Toys Company—Duncan Koo-Lee Hat—Red—BottomEmpire Plastics—TWIRL-N-TOSS—Two Plate Set—Small Yellow & Large RedEmpire Plastics—TWIRL-N-TOSS—Two Plate Set—Detail—Top & HeaderEmpire Plastics—TWIRL-N-TOSS—Two Plate Set—Detail—Header BackRoyal Tot—Spin-a-Plate—Package FrontRoyal Tot—Spin-a-Plate—Package BackWham-O—Whirlee Twirlee—Red, TopWham-O—Whirlee Twirlee—Yellow, BottomWham-O—Whirlee Twirlee—Blue, TopWham-O—Whirlee Twirlee—Blue, BottomWham-O—Whirlee Twirlee—InstructionsWhirley Corp.—Pepsi Swirl—Red, TopWhirley Corp.—Pepsi Swirl—Red, BottomWhirley Corp—Whirley-Whirler—TopWhirley Corp—Whirley-Whirley—BottomWhirley Corp—Whirley-Whirler—Top