Who invented the Frisbee?

Published on October 3rd, 2012
Who invented the Frisbee?

And what does it have to do with pies and popcorn?

It may seem like a pretty simple invention, but the Frisbee is smarter than you think. In fact, its shape is specifically designed to generate lift as it spins through the air, and that’s why it travels so far and seems to hover like a brightly coloured flying saucer.

But who came up with it?
Well, that depends on who you ask – as it turns out, quite a few people claim credit for the Frisbee. According to some sources, it all started with the Frisbie Pie Company, an (you guessed it) American establishment that made (you guessed it again) delicious pies. The pies were very popular with college students, who discovered that the pie tins could be thrown really well and – hey presto! – the Frisbee was unofficially born.

But the official credit goes to an American guy named Walter Frederick Morrison, who threw a popcorn-can lid at Thanksgiving in 1937 and that gave him the idea for a fun flying disc. In 1946, he created the “Whirlo-Way”, which was made of plastic and became the first flying disc to be manufactured specifically for sale. Over the years that followed, Walter perfected his design and in 1957, his business partner, Richard Knerr, trademarked the now-familiar name “Frisbee”.

So, next time you throw a Frisbee, spare a thought for all the decades of smart thinking that turned it into a reality…

Credit: image from Flickr/BOBXNC