19 August 2015

Pogo Stick

A pogo stick is a device for jumping off the ground in a standing position, through the aid of a spring.

They can be used as a toy, exercise equipment, or extreme sports instrument. It has had peaks and valleys in its popularity. It was very popular in the late 1960s and 70s, and is enjoying some renewed popularity now in extreme sports via the new sport of extreme pogo or "Xpogo".

It consists of a pole with a handle at the top and footrests near the bottom, and a spring located somewhere along the pole. The spring joins two sections of the pole, which extends below the footpads. It can be steered by shifting one's weight off the centerline of the spring in the desired horizontal direction thus producing horizontal locomotion.

A pogo stick that was not called a pogo stick was patented in 1891 by George H. Herrington of Wichita, Kansas "for leaping great distances and heights". This was an antecedent of the pogo stick as well as today's spring stilts.

We can call the pogo stick an eponym because the modern pogo stick name supposedly comes from a redesigned version that looks like the one we know by Hans Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall whose combined names give us "PoGo." They applied for a German patent in 1920 and described their device as a "spring end hopping stilt."


  1. I like that old school pogo stick photo you used at the top of the article. It reminds me of the classic pogo stick days when kids in the 50's would jump up and down on the sidewalk in front of their homes. Kind of like the Wonder Years TV show. The pogo stick has come a long way since then.

  2. It's amazing how a simple toy of "spring end hopping stilt" for kids evolved in to xtreme sports. Nice picture of the gal on the old photo.
    We enjoyed jumping on the pogo stick, but didn't realize it was named after the two people. Learned something new. Thanks!