Throwback Thursday: A Kid’s Yo-Yo

The First Modern Yo-Yo by Pedro Flores

My 5-yr old son began playing awkwardly with a Yo-Yo recently.  I began showing him the tricks I’d learned as a kid.  My uncle taught me how to “walk the dog”, and do “the cradle” trick moves. It was a wonderful place of nostalgia for me. Throwback Thursdays posts are all about fun nostalgia and a chance to remember the little things in life. However, in the larger scheme of history it is often forgotten that the Yo-Yo was popularized by Filipino Americans and shaped modern Americana!

The primary twirler who brought the Yo-Yo into the mainstream was Filipino Pedro Flores. In the 1920’s a Yo-Yo probably sold for around 10 cents.  Flores opened different factories making wooden Yo-yo’s and was the main innovator for using a slip-string on the axle to extend spin for trick moves.  Donald Duncan saw a child playing with a Flores Yo-Yo and decided to later work with Pedro Flores. By the 1930’s Duncan eventually bought full ownership of the enterprise and created Duncan Yo-Yo. Today, a single mint condition Flores Yo-Yo is worth $2,000, while Duncan Yo-Yo’s are now a dime a dozen. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: A Kid’s Yo-Yo”