It's no secret that schools were the ultimate breeding ground for the virality of drawing the S thing. To most people when asked about the S, their immediate memories turn to being in school, amongst friends, etching away in their school books and binders.
For most American kids, those books and binders most likely came from one of the world's largest publishing houses - Scholastic. Scholastic first starting their publishing reign in 1920 printing a 4 page high school sports magazine and distributing them to 50 local high schools. Along their 102 year history, Scholastic expanded internationally and fast became the household name for school books and literature.
One fond memory for most kids and their scholastic books was to compete in their kids puzzles. Whether learning to read, write or draw, the puzzles were fairly reminiscent of those little puzzles found in newspapers and the back of magazines. According to internet folklore, apparently there was a puzzle asking readers to make a S using matchsticks or lines. It started with the famous 6 vertical lines and then asked the reader to finish the S using just 8 more lines.
Through extensive research we have yet to find any evidence of the puzzles in question. We have reached out to Scholastic HQ with no response however we hope that perhaps one day, someone will be rummaging through their old things and stumble across one and prove its existence.
Until that moment, it is certainly safe to say that Scholastic, with their almighty prominence in the kids publishing scene, were responsible for sowing the seed of addiction to children's puzzles but were not the inventors of the S.