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Pedro Flores is widely considered as the first yo-yo maker in the US and with his Flores yo-yo created the start of an international craze.
Pedro Flores was born in Vintarilocos Norte, Philippines and came to the United States in 1915. Between 1919 and 1920 he attended the High School of Commerce in San Francisco 1919-1920 and subsequently studied Law at the University of California Berkeley and the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. Pedro dropped out of school and moved to Santa Barbara, California where he worked at odd-jobs to make a living.
While working as a bellboy, Pedro read an article about self-made millionaire who made his money by selling a ball attached to a rubber band. At this point he remembered the yo-yo (previously known as the bandalore), a game which has been played for hundreds of years in the Philippines. Bringing it all together, Pedro saw a good market opportunity in the US, and the ability to go into business for himself.
Between 1928 and 1932, Pedro started and ran down the Yo-yo Manufacturing Company in Santa Barbara, CA before selling the company and trademark to Duncan who continued to market and sell Flores yo-yos alongside the Duncan line.
Pedro Flores is most-often described as the inventor of the yo-yo, but Pedro never personally claimed to have invented the yo-yo, always mentioning it's past history as a centuries old Philippine game. In addition he is also referred to as the original patent holder of the yo-yo, however yo-yos (Bandalores) have already been patented prior to the company's existence.
Between 1930 and 1932, Pedro Flores sold his interest in his yo-yo manufacturing companies for greater than $250,000.00, to Duncan, which during the depression of the 1930's was a fortune. On this transaction Pedro was quoted saying " am more interested in teaching children to use the yo-yos than I am in manufacturing of yo-yos." Taking his own words to heart, Flores became one of the key promoters in Duncan's early yo-yo campaigns. During 1931-32, Mr. Flores was instrumental in setting up a large number of the promotions in the cities where the early Duncan contests were being held. In relation to his contests run just 2 years earlier with his Yo-yo Manufacturing Company, the new Duncan contests were vastly different.some of these contests now required a series of tricks similar to modern day contests with ties being broken by the number of loop the loops completed.