Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The pet rock was invented in 1975 by Gary Dahl, a 38-year-old advertiser from Los Gatos, California. Dahl conceived of the idea while talking to friends about the demands of keeping pets. A simpler alternative, he joked, would be to have a pet rock. Dahl transformed his humorous idea into a market reality by packaging “pet” rocks in boxes with breathing holes and selling them for $3.95 apiece. His efforts quickly turned a handy profit; by the end of 1975 Dahl had earned a million dollars selling rocks he purchased for one cent apiece from Mexico. Reputable retailers, such as Neiman-Marcus, Macy's, and Bloomingdale's, ordered the rocks in bulk just in time for holiday shoppers, who had become caught up in the fad. In December 1975, the New York Times recommended Newsweek ...