“Rubber ducky, you’re the one. You make bath time lots of fun. Rubber ducky I’m awfully fond of you!” sang Sesame Street’s Ernie during bath time. The friendly puppet isn’t the only fan of the bath accessory— the country celebrates the toy on National Rubber Ducky Day on January 13.
The popular toy has seen a lot of variations in its history. First designed in the 1800s when rubber manufacturing began, the duck was then made out of plastic and vinyl during both World Wars, as rubber was scarce. The ducky toy was first patented in 1928 by Landon Smart Lawrence, but the toy was a little heavier back then—he put a weight in it to make sure it would always stay upright.
If you’re every out in the ocean, you might just run into a rubber ducky. 28,000 rubber ducks on their way via boat to Washington went overboard during a storm in 1992. It’s been said that the ducks floated north to the Arctic, got trapped in the ice, and were slowly thawed out into the Atlantic Ocean. There are thousands still out there, and often happen upon shores all over the world.
Be on the lookout and be sure to celebrate their big day on January 13!