Pinwheel (toy)

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A pinwheel

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.[1]

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.[2]

Popular culture[edit]

  • 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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ USA National Security Agency (19 April 2005). "Pioneering Data - A Little History of the Pinwheel (SR12)". Archived from the original on 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  2. ^ United States Patent Office (17 June 1919). "Design for a Wind Wheel". Retrieved 29 October 2013. 

External links[edit]