Some fads are based on long-standing practices or activities and explode into wide-scale popularity years later – such was the case with the game of pogs.
The game of pogs originated in the 1920s on the Hawaiian island of Maui. There dairy workers played the game during breaks using simple milkcaps. Almost 70 years later, a Hawaiian schoolteacher reintroduced the game and mass appeal soon followed.
Pogs, (an acronym for a popular Hawaiian drink made from Passion fruit, Oranges and Guava juices) is played with disc-like object which have pictures on its face side. Each player would take an equal number of pogs and would stack at least four pogs one on top of another with the faces down. One of the players would then take a different-sized disc (called a slammer) and would strike a stack of the pogs with it. Whichever pogs landed faceup would be retained by that player. After each player had taken their turn(s), the one with the most pogs was the winner.
The pogs came in many colors and styles with various emblems, symbols or pictures on their faces. Originally, the game gained popularity through word of mouth but as it reached the mainland of the United States, its popularity went through the roof. With a low price tag and multiplicity of styles and colors, the pogs became a very popular collectors item which children traded back and forth. By 1995, the game had reached the pinnacle of its popularity. While this put smiles on the faces of children, not everyone was happy with the fad. Some school systems banned the discs because of dangers with throwing the slammer and because of overly aggressive play by some of the children.
Pogs, like the frisbee, show that sometimes workers in their spare time can find the most interesting use for the most ordinary of objects.