MILLTOWN, NJ - Rubber duckie may be the one, but Ernie's bath buddy has been around since the 1800s. However, the early rubber ducks weren't even designed to float. They were made to be chew toys. That all changed in the 1940s when the iconic yellow rubber duck we all know and love with the signature orange bill hit bathtubs everywhere.
Though it actually was Ernie who made Rubber Duckie a household name back in the 1970s. Ernie was of course the brainchild of Muppet creator, Jim Henson. Rubber Duckie was Ernie's BFF and his song to his yellow, squeaky pal even hit the Billboard music charts, climbing as high as number 16. From that point on rubber ducks became all the rage, swimming onto shower curtains, towels, wall paper and hearts everywhere.
Rubber duckies aren't just for kids either. Adults love the yellow guys too. Charlotte Lee holds the Guinness World Record for the largest rubber duck collection. Lee won the award in 2007 with 2,583 rubber ducks. By the spring of 2010, she had 5,631 rubber ducks and counting, showing why rubber duckie really is the one.
Even Milltown got duckie on July 4 with their third annual Rubber Duck Race. The race was sponsored by St. Paul's Church. It's a fun fundraiser for the church with the proceeds going toward youth group mission trips.
A large group of ducks hit the water under the Main Street Bridge as a group of on-lookers watched. On the line were 10 gift cards to be awarded to the first 10 ducks to cross under the train trestle.
Go, Rubber Duckie! Go!
Now, if you're ever been to a rubber duck race, you know that it's a slow go. It's certainly not NASCAR. The duckies go wherever the water's current take them and look cute because that's what a rubber duckie is designed to do and it's why he'll always be the one. Nevertheless, folks watched, hoping that their duckie would be among the first 10 plucked from the water by the net.
Of course, the kids had other pressing questions. Where exactly is my rubber duck and why can't I keep him?