Thursday, January 23, 2014

This Day in History - Wham-O Toy Company Introduces the Frisbee



Ever wonder where the Frisbee came from? No, me neither, but it's interesting to note that the story began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which isn't too far from here.

In 1871, William Frisbee opened the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport. "Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling 'Frisbie!' as they let go. In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the "Flying Saucer" that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates. After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O as the "Pluto Platter"--an attempt to cash in on the public craze over space and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)."

So how did it go from being called a "Pluto Platter" to a Frisbee? Seems that the Wham-O company changed its name to Frisbee by misspelling the name of the pie company. When the design for the modern Frisbee was patented in 1967, a band of raised rings had been added to stabilize flight. Did you know they are officially called the "Rings?" I didn't.

The official Frisbee is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers, who bought the toy from Wham-O in 1994.

For more about the Frisbee and to learn a bit about Ultimate Frisbee, visit http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/toy-company-wham-o-produces-first-frisbees

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