December 26, 2011 - Frisbee Patented

– 1967

It's a bird—it's a plane—no, it's a flying saucer!

Or........ an inexpensive plastic toy?

On this day in 1967, a newer, better version of the popular flying disc that we call Frisbee was patented by Wham-O inventor Ed Headrick. But the invention of the frisbee started long before then...

The Frisbie Baking Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, made pies, and some claim that the inventors of the Frisbee were workers tossing and catching empty pie tins. Others say that college students in New England were the first to find the fun in flinging the Frisbie pie tins—and several different universities claim the honor of being the “first to fling.”

In 1948, a Los Angeles building inspector named Walter F. Morrison created a plastic version of the Frisbie pie tin. He fiddled with his invention until he came up with one that flew better than a pie tin could, and he named it a “Pluto Platter” in order to cash in on the UFO craze. A company named Wham-O, famous for the Hula-Hoop and Super Ball, bought Morrison's design—and he received a million dollars in royalties. The head people of Wham-O decided to drop the name “Pluto Platter” and go back to the original name with a fun new spelling: “Frisbee.”

Later, Ultimate Frisbee and Frisbee Golf were invented. The U.S. Navy has studied Frisbees in wind tunnels, using cameras and computers, in order to learn more about flight for their vehicles and flare launchers. And more than 200 million modern Frisbees have been manufactured and sold!

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