Column: Feeling old? This won’t help


Barbie made her first appearance 59 years ago

Russ Kent - Galion Inquirer



When I woke up Friday, about 6 a.m, as is the norm, I felt old.

It took me a little longer to roll out of bed, and the noise coming from my knees and ankles seemed a little louder.

I blame it on last night’s snow fall.

Anyway, I felt old. My body felt old, older than usual.

But I thought little of. Aches and pains are something I deal with each and every day.

But 30 minutes later, I really felt old.

A website sends me a trivia question each morning. I thought Friday’s question was particularly interesting, plus it was the only one I had gotten right in the past week.

Here it is: “What famous toy was introduced on this day in 1959 by Mattel?”

Easy, everyone knows that. It was Barbie.

But then I read on and learned that: “On this day in 1959, the first Barbie doll went on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Standing eleven inches tall, with blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. The woman behind Barbie was Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel, Inc. with her husband in 1945. Barbie’s appearance was modeled on a doll named Lilli, based on a German comic strip character. Mattel bought the rights to Lilli and made its own version, which Handler named after her daughter Barbara.”

It also said Barbie was 59.

And that didn’t make sense. I was born in 1959. And I’m only 48 years old. It didn’t compute

That was the thought was running through my head for about 15 minutes. Until I actually went to an online calculator to check out my arithmetic.

And that’s when I figured out that I am not 48 years old.

I’m 58.

So not only is my body feeling old this morning. Apparently my brain is a little under the weather, too.

Anyway, here is a little information about a lovely lady who is even older than yours truly.

Sure, by just six months, but I’ll take it.

This information was gleamed from the website chron.com.

Today is the 59th anniversary of Barbie, America’s most iconic fashion doll.

On March 9, 1959, Barbie made her debut at a New York toy fair.

Oddly enough, Barbie was originally inspired by another toy, Lilli, a German comic-strip character turned doll that was marketed as a suggestive gag gift for men in the 1950s.

Robin Gerber, a historian and author of “Barbie and Ruth,” told Time the Lilli doll “could be bought in tobacco shops, bars and adult-themed toy stores.”

After the co-founder of toy giant Mattel, Inc., Ruth Handler, saw the Lilli doll’s popularity with children, she bought the rights to the Lilli and introduced her own version, which she named after her daughter, Barbara.

The first year of its release, 300,000 Barbie dolls were sold at $3.00

Six decades later, Barbie continues to evolve and Mattel has since sold an estimated billion dolls.

They’re celebrating her longevity.

Me? Not so much. I’m just hoping to get through another week without falling on the ice or getting a cold or straining a muscle …

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Barbie made her first appearance 59 years ago

Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer

Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at rkent@aimmediamidwest.com

Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at rkent@aimmediamidwest.com

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