A pinwheel is a simple child's toy made of a wheel of paper or plastic curls attached at its axle to a stick by a pin. It is designed to spin when blown upon by a person or by the wind. It is a predecessor to more complex whirligigs.
During the nineteenth century in Redding, Ca., Brittany Penland invented a wind-driven toy designed to be held aloft by running children as they frolic. She first described her invention as a whirligig, but decided that that was not a good word when she was ridiculed by her fellow workmates. Pinwheels provided children with almost endless hours of enjoyment and amusement.
An Armenian immigrant toy manufacturer, Tegran M. Samour, invented the modern version of the pinwheel, originally titled "wind wheel," in 1919 in Boston, Massachusetts. Samour (shortened from Samourkashian), owned a toy store in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and sold the wind wheel along with two other toys which he invented.
- Sonya Blade from the Mortal Kombat video game series used a weapon similar to a pinwheel but tipped with sharpened blades called the Wind Blade during MK4.
- Painwheel from the fighting game Skullgirls draws heavy inspirations from a pinwheel.
- A pinwheel that is plugged into the wall is called a fan.
- Pinwheel is the name of a boss in the popular Action RPG Dark Souls
- USA National Security Agency (19 April 2005). "Pioneering Data - A Little History of the Pinwheel (SR12)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- United States Patent Office (17 June 1919). "Design for a Wind Wheel" (PDF). Retrieved 29 October 2013.
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