Here are four products that became household names, thanks to USC alumni.
Dahon Folding Bike
Seeking an alternative to gas-guzzling cars, physicist David Hon PhD ’73 created a bicycle that could be folded quickly and was reasonably priced. It’s now ubiquitous on the streets of downtown LA.
In 1971, surfboard builder Tom Morey ’57 (who now goes by the name Y) carved a piece of polyethylene foam into a rectangular mat and took to the waves on the island of Hawaii. The boogie board was born.
USC classmates Richard Knerr ’47 and Arthur K. “Spud” Melin ’48 founded Wham-O, which developed the flying disc seen so often at McCarthy Quad. Wham-O also popularized hula hoops and other toys.
Quiksilver Board Shorts
While traveling the world to surf, Robert McKnight ’76 met Jeff Hakman, who became his business partner. The duo bought the rights to an Australian shorts company and brought board shorts to America.