Behind every object is a great inventor. Most of the time, there are arguments that pop up on who was the first person to come up with the invention. And that’s the case for the Frisbee, many people claimed that they invented it and that they first came up with the idea of a flying disc. And if you are still confused on who invented it and how did it had its own sport, then you’ve come to the right place because we are here to tell you the history of Frisbee and Frisbee sports. So sit down, relax, and keep scrolling down.
Throwing the discus was an event that was part of the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece and throughout the times, the sport was recreated and was made part of the modern track and field games. It became a part of high school sports and modern Olympics. But back then, the discs were made of wood that is surrounded by a protective metal band which weighed a couple of pounds
in 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his wife were offered twenty-five cents for a cake pan they were tossing back and forth on a beach, He then thought of the idea that there was a potential market who would buy a light flying disc that can be tossed for fun and games. That’s why they decided to sell cake pans for a quarter and in exchange, people got a flying disc they could toss back and forth or play fetch with their dog.
He and his wife continued their business until Walter Frederick Morrison have to serve the Army Air Force during World War IIwhere Morrison became a prisoner of war. After the war, he decided to make a design sketch for an aerodynamic flying disc. He discovered that a plastic version of the disc has better accuracy and it could fly further compared to the tin pie plate. He then named his invention the Whirlo-Way.
In 1948, Frederick Morrison decided to partner with Warren Franscioni to begin producing the world’s first plastic discs. After several design modifications and experimentations, they ended up renaming the Whirlo-Way to Flyin’ Saucer because of the rumors spreading that time about the unidentified flying object sightings. Unfortunately, Morrison and Franscioni ended their partnership early and Morrison decided to form his own company called American Trends. He sold Flyin’ Saucers that was made of flexible polypropylene plastic. And in 1955, he designed a new model of the flyin’ disc and called it the Pluto Platter. In 1957, he decided to sell the rights to a company named Wham-Oand after a year, Morrison was awarded a U.S Design Patent for his plastic flying disc toy.
On that same year, after learning that college students were calling it the Pluto Platter, Wham-O owners Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr decided to give the disc its own brand name, Frisbee.
The Man Behind Frisbee’s Success
Edward Headrick was Wham-O’s general manager and vice president of marketing, he decided to redesign the Frisbee and he decided to remove the names of the planets and increased the thickness of the rim and mass. It resulted in a more controllable disc which can be thrown into a more accurate direction. After redesigning the product, he decided to change their marketing strategy for the Frisbee. They started to promote the product as a new sport and the sales of the Frisbee went off the charts. And in 1964, they released and sold the first professional Frisbee model to the market.
From then on, Headrick became popular as the father of Frisbee sports. He even founded the International Frisbee Association which created the standards for different Frisbee sports like Guts, Double Disc Court, and Freestyle. Headrick also helped developed the disc golf sport by inventing uniform targets and called it the pole holes.
The Story Behind the Name
The name Frisbee came from a pie company in Bridgeport, Connecticut named The Frisbie Pie Company. They were the supplier of pies in Yale University where college students started a craze of tossing their empty pie tins that were embossed with the pie company’s logo that says “Frisbie’s Pies”.