Saturday, October 23, 2010

#3: Jungle Gym - As in Monkey Bars

I was reading Merriam-Webster Online when I found this article on the "Top 10 Words from Trademarks." This is officially a new blog series and no, I did not skip #2 by accident. I just wasn't interested in the word.

#3: Jungle Gym

In 1920, Chicago lawyer Sebastian Hinton trademarked the Junglegym (one word).

He modeled his structure after one devised by his mathematician father, who had envisioned children learning about three-dimensional space by climbing to specific x, y, and z coordinates.

Over the decades, the beloved structure has been updated, and the trademark status lost. However, newer designs still honor what the inventor called the "monkey instinct" of kids.

The (two word) term jungle gym first appeared in 1923; the never-trademarked, closely-related term monkey bars traces to 1955.

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