1970s' Pet Rock

A novel and very different toy and collector’s item from 1975 was the ‘Pet Rock’. This big fad was actually a stone from a Mexican beach town (Rosarita Beach), with hundreds of them purchased in bulk for a penny. The man behind the idea was Gary Dahl, who then sold these rocks for $3.95 each. His special idea was to use a special cardboard box with air holes as the rock’s packaging which included an owner’s manual on care of the pet rock. The air holes were so the pet rock could breathe.

The idea came because his friends said how animal pets such as dogs can be destructive. Gary replied he had no problem because he had a pet rock.

Gary did get two investors who came up with $10,000. It premiered at the San Francisco gift show in August 1975. By the holiday season of 1975 he was selling 100,000 Pet Rocks per day. With each sale, Dahl made .95 cents profit and earned 1 million dollars.

But one problem, Dahl was unable to patent a rock, although he could’ve received a utility patent he didn’t attempt to do so. It seems as if the humor had moved on to other areas and the Pet Rock was well on its way out.

So did anyone keep their Pet Rock? Do you remember it? Check with family members. A few can be found on eBay.com running between $25 and $75 for the complete package, box, instructions and rock.

Photo: 1975 Pet Rock and box

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Fads of the 1960s


Slang of the 1970s

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