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Fascinating facts about the invention of the
Frisbee®
by Walter Frederick Morrison in 1950.
FRISBEE®
A baker named William Russel Frisbie, of Warren, Connecticut, and later of Bridgeport, came up with a clever marketing idea back in the 1870s.  He put the family name in relief on the bottom of the light tin pans in which his company’s homemade pies were sold.  The pans were reusable, but every time a housewife started to bake a pie in one, she would see the name Frisbie and, it was hoped, think, "How much easier to buy one".  Eventually Mr. Frisbie’s pies were sold throughout much of Connecticut, including New Haven.
There, sometime in the 1940s, Yale students began sailing the pie tins through the air and catching them.  A decade later, out in California, a flying-saucer enthusiast named Walter Frederick Morrison designed a saucer-like disk for playing catch.  It was produced by a company named Wham-O.  On a promotional tour of college campuses, the president of Wham-O encountered the pie-plate-tossing craze at Yale.  And so the flying saucer from California was renamed after the pie plate from Connecticut. Of course the name was changed from Frisbie to Frisbee to avoid any legal problems.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
The History of Toys and Games   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:

The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle: And Other Surprising Stories About Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson / Paperback - 128 pages (1999) / Puffin
Brief factual stories about how various familiar things were invented, many by accident, from animal crackers to the zipper.
Mistakes That Worked
by Charlotte Foltz Jones, John O'Brien (Illustrator) / Paperback - 48 pages (1994) / Doubleday
Recounting the fascinating stories behind the accidental inventions of forty familiar objects and products.
Panati’s Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things
by Charles Panati / Paperback - 480 pages Reissue edition (September 1989) / HarperCollins
Discover the fascinating stories behind the origins of over 500 everyday items, expressions and customs

The Complete Book of Frisbee: The History of the Sport & the First Official Price Guide
by Victor Malafronte, Rachel Forbes, F. Davis Johnson / Paperback / American Trends Pub.Co.(1998)
The first comprehensive history of the frisbee, from the dawn of the flying disc in 700 b.c. to modern-day games, including frisbee golf, ultimate frisbee, and worldwide competition.

ON THE SCREEN:
Frisbee Dogs:Throwing Video
Video / NTSC format (US and Canada only) / Color, NTSC / ASIN: 0962934631 / Less than $20.00
This video will teach you how to throw a Frisbee disc so that you and your pet can enjoy the exciting and challenging sport of canine Frisbee. In this video, Peter Bloeme covers the basic concepts of throwing, grip, stance, arm and body motion as well as proper release for the basic throws used in the sport. Don't frustrate yourself or your dog, learn how to throw today!


ON THE WEB:

Wham-O Inc.
Official Frisbee site, presented by the newly independent Wham-O Inc.
(URL: http://www.wham-o.com/default.cfm?page=AboutUsHistory)
What About Warren Franscioni
Franscioni argues that he designed the first Flyin' Saucer, not Morrison, that he paid for the initial mold with his own money, and that the two men jointly developed the idea of casting it in plastic.
(URL: www.ultimatehandbook.com/Webpages/History/histdisc.html)
Frisbee
Morrison and Franscioni formed a company called Partners in Plastic, or Pipco, based in SLO. They contracted with Southern California Plastic Co. in Glendale to manufacture Flyin' Saucers for about 25 cents each. They sold them for $1 through outlets like Woolworth and Disneyland.
(URL: www.newsfinder.org/more.php?id=1164_0_1_0_M)
The History of the Frisbee
Flying disc history can be split into the areas of ancient and modern times. The modern history of discs is easy to understand but the origins of the first frisbee are dubious.
(URL:: www.ukultimate.com/history/history.aspx)
Frisbee Goes National!
They developed the "Flyin' Saucer," named because of the craze of UFOs and Roswell. It was for all practical purposes, what you know today as a Frisbee. POP-UP ADS.
(URL: www.fiftiesweb.com/pop/frisbee.htm)
World Flying Disc Federation
The WFDF is your source for on-line information and links for flying disc sports world wide.
(URL: www.wfdf.org)
The Unofficial International Frisbee Hall of Fame
Located in Lake Linden, Michigan the hall features inductee profiles.
(URL: www.sas.it.mtu.edu/~dkwalika/frisbee/Hall.html)
Invention Dimension - Inventor of the Week
The flying disk, a fixture at American beaches, parks, backyards and college campuses, was first developed independently on the East and West Coasts during the 1940s and 50s.
(URL: web.mit.edu/inventiow/flyingdisk.html)
Frisbee Links Page
Despite the URL ( frisbee.com ) this is not an official site. Lot's of links to Frisbee information..
(URL: www.frisbee.com/freestyle/links/sports.html)
Frisbee Instruction Education & Entertainment
Encourages healthy, active living, creativity and fair play with the Frisbee.
(URL: www.spinningbees.com/)
Entertainment - Dog Catches Frisbee
Business site of Top Flight K-9s. Lot's of pix.
(URL: www.jumpndogs.com/)

Frisbee History from Wham-O
Frisbee history timeline from 1920 until 2001.
(URL: www.frisbeedisc.com/about/history.html)

What About Ed Headrick (Page removed from Web.)
Ed Headrick was responsible for designing the modern Frisbee. Although discs for throwing had been made by the toy manufacturer Wham-O since 1957, they had sold modestly, mainly because of complaints that they were so wobbly in the air.
(URL: www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,60-384147,00.html)


WORDS OF WISDOM:
"When a ball dreams, it dreams it's a Frisbee" - Ian Scotland

DID YOU KNOW?:

  • More than 200 million Frisbees® have been sold in last 50 years – that's more than baseballs, footballs, and basketballs combined!
  • Wham-O was also the company that brought us the Hula Hoop.
  • Other toys that took the world by storm included Silly Putty, Slinky, and the Super Ball. 
  • Wham-O was born in a garage in 1948 when entrepreneurs—and best friends—Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spuds" Melin began producing slingshots that sold for 75 cents. In 1982, Knerr and Melin sold out to Kransco Manufacturing for $12 million and retired. In 1994, Mattel purchased the toy maker. Now the Wham-O brand name is flying solo again as the newly formed Wham-O Inc.
Frisbee ® is a registered trademark of WHAM-O Incorporated.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised June 28, 2006.
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