I’m not graceful or coordinated, but I can catch a Frisbee (most of the time), and throw it straight on a good day –though I haven’t improved much since I was six-years-old. I’d spend lazy Saturdays planted in my backyard exerting all my energy to concentrate on throwing the Frisbee nice and straight only to make my dad chase it all over the yard (oops!). Years later, I still don’t have a knack for flying Frisbees or know the difference between the scoober, the hammer and the chicken wing throws; but I know a lot about the history of this flying favorite!
So, how did this phenomenon begin? Here is some history on the Frisbee from Frisbeedisc:
The founding of the famous Frisbee began with students who liked to eat pie, specifically Frisbie Pie Company pie in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In the 1920s, Yale students discovered that throwing the empty pie tin back and forth was a lot of fun (not to mention resourceful!). But, it wasn’t the ultimate founding moment.
The first plastic flying disk was manufactured in 1948 by Fred Morrison, a California carpenter and building inspector, who marketed his disk under the name Pipco Flyin-Saucer. Due to the American obsession with aliens, Morrison further developed his flying disk in 1957, after joining with toy manufacturer Wham-O, to create the UFO inspired Pluto Platter – the most entertaining “close encounter” at the time.
But wait… don’t forget those crazy kids on the East coast with the pie tins! Adopting the plastic Pluto Platter to replace their rustic Frisbie pie tins, these college students continued to call the flying disk after their favorite pie company – Frisbie. Consequently, Wham-O executives rallied behind the students’ enthusiasm and growing popularity for their product, changing its name to Frisbee – the product we know and love.
Growing in popularity with children and adults of all ages, the Frisbee has stood the test of time and morphed into an unparalleled outdoor/indoor game phenomenon, which has grown to include disc golf, Frisbee tennis, five hundred, keepings off, goaltimate, hot box, and indoor ultimate. Plus, a true testament to this plastic disks popularity, flying disk sports became a part of the World Games in Akita, Japan in 2001.
Though I missed the hype of the early introduction of all things Frisbee, I can look back and appreciate the awesome 80s approach to marketing these hi-flying toys (enjoy – the theme song is an especially nice touch):
“Frisbee History.” Frisbeedisc. September 4, 2009. http://www.frisbeedisc.com/about/history.html