Five cool facts about sock monkeys

Image credit: Museum of Play
Image credit: Museum of Play

Sock monkeys have a very impressive history. They are one of the most popular types of stuffed animals with lots of fans. There are also some quite cool fact about sock monkeys.

Tara Winner, who is a cataloger at The Strong, knows quite a lot about the history of sock monkeys. Recently she has published a quite comprehensive history of stuffed animals. In it there are some cool fact about sock monkeys.

We’ve gathered some of them. They are worth checking out.

Five cool facts about sock monkeys

Believe it or not the history of sock monkeys can’t be traced back to a certain company or person. They though are quite old. Winner says the most basic roots of the toys can be traced back to 1872. back then the Swedish immigrant John Nelson and his business partner William Burson developed an automatic knitting machine that could close the heel and toe of a sock.

This made the production of socks much easier and cheaper. So slowly people started to make toys. In the 1950s the Nelson Knitting Company found out that people started to use their socks for sock toys. Of a particular favorite were the sock monkeys.

The company filed to patent the sock monkey and got a grant for it in 1955. The firm then started to include a sock monkey pattern in each package of Red Heel socks.

Shortly after Roebuck and Co. started to sell a book which included instructions to make more than 50 sock animals, dolla, puppets. Thus turning the sock stuffed animals into a whole separate branch of the hobby.

Sock monkeys are some of the most popular to this day. According to Winner they were in their high throughout the 1960s and 1970s with a rebirth of popularity in the last few years.

There were¬†some cool sock monkeys made throughout the years. The museum has some of them in their exhibition. Can’t go and visit it? See it online. There are also other sock stuffed animals you can check out or make yourself.