A pinwheel is a simple child's toy made of a wheel of paper or plastic curls attached at its axle to a stick by a pin. It is designed to spin when blown upon by a person or by the wind. It is a predecessor to more complex whirligigs.
During the nineteenth century in the United States, any wind-driven toy held aloft by a running child was characterized as a whirligig, including pinwheels. Pinwheels provided many children with almost endless hours of enjoyment and amusement.
An Armenian immigrant toy manufacturer, Tegran M. Samour, invented the modern version of the pinwheel, originally titled "wind wheel," in 1919 in Boston, Massachusetts. Samour (shortened from Samourkashian), owned a toy store in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and sold the wind wheel along with two other toys which he invented.
- USA National Security Agency (19 April 2005). "Pioneering Data - A Little History of the Pinwheel (SR12)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
- United States Patent Office (17 June 1919). "Design for a Wind Wheel" (PDF). Retrieved 29 October 2013.