How long ago were flip-flops invented?
Happy Birthday to my cousin, Ellie. She loved many things, but her family and flip-flops were on top I believe. What's interesting about today's Daily Doodle history is that flip-flops... also known as the simplest of the sandals... is really quite old.
Almost every culture on the planet has created some form of a flip-flop. Ancient cultures from all over the world wore the flip flop as a comfortable and reliable form of footwear, including cultures from the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The earliest recorded use of flip-flops was around 4000 BC in Ancient Egypt. Many of the sculptures and drawings from Ancient Egyptians show people wearing flip flops, including both royalty and everyday citizens, though the everyday citizen footwear wasn't jewel-encrusted. The flip-flops worn by these Ancient Egyptians were mostly made from papyrus and other plant fibers.
The oldest known surviving flip-flop is from around 1500 BC! It is currently on display in the British Museum. Over time, the materials used to make flip-flops has changed from papyrus, palm leaves and straw to plastic and rubber. These ancient shoes made their first appearance in Western culture after the Second World War, and later the Korean War, when soldiers brought them back from Japan as souvenirs.
The sandal changes it's name from country to country. While in Japan it is known as the zori, and is used to teach children to walk, in other cultures it is called a plugger, jandal or thong. The use of the word flip-flop is a relatively modern term dating from the 1960s where the shoes were worn both as a fashion statement and to stay cool in hot weather. Modern rubberised versions were worn mainly to the beach or swimming pool throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Nowadays, they are a go-to shoe any time it's nice out... or even when it's not.