By 1949, however, various people were holding occasional 'nutty putty' parties, at which the amused guests would play with the stuff, bouncing it like a ball, stretching and breaking it, or even using it to lift images from newspapers and comic books, due to the surface ink sticking to the stuff. Peter Hodgson was a former advertising copywriter who was running a local toy store; he immediately saw the marketing potential for such a toy and bought the marketing rights from GE. Hodgson bought $147 worth of the goo and divided it into one-ounce slices, which he packaged into little plastic eggs for the benefit of the upcoming Easter holiday. Renaming it Silly Putty, Hodgson sold the eggs for one dollar each. A favorable mention in The New Yorker helped spread the stuff's popularity and a toy legend was born.
I was introduced to Silly Putty one day as a small boy when I had my pal Greg Million from across the street over to play in my house - a rare treat. He showed me how to spread the stuff over comics pages and then stretch the resulting image, as well as myriad other uses. Silly Putty has been a favorite of American kids since the 1950's, and a couple million of the eggs are still sold every year. Reportedly, on Hodgson's death in 1976, his estate was worth $140 million.
Silly Putty is composed of:
65% - Dimethyl Siloxane, hydroxy-terminated polymers with boric acid
17% - Silica, quartz crystalline
9% - Thixotrol ST
4% - Polydimethylsiloxane
1% - Decamethyl cyclopentasiloxane
1% - Glycerine
1% - Titanium Dioxide