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Slinky took its first springy steps toward becoming a fixture of popular culture on a November day in 1945. Richard James, who had invented the coiled-spring toy, and his wife Betty, who coined the "Slinky" name (based on the novelty's sleek, sinuous style of motion), persuaded Gimbels department store in Philadelphia to provide counter space for a demonstration. To the delight of shoppers, the Slinky appeared to "walk" down a ramp, end-over-end, owing to gravity's pull and its own momentum.