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Weird Facts about Frisbee®

  • Frisbee was inspired by the Frisbie Pie Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, founded by William Russell Frisbie. In the 1870s, William Russell Frisbie opened a bakery called the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His lightweight pie tins were embossed with the family name. In the mid-1940s, students at Yale University tossed the empty pie tins as a game.
  • In the 1950s, Walter Frederick Morrison, a Los Angeles building inspector determined to capitalize on Hollywood's obsession with UFOs, designed a lightweight plastic disk, based on the Frisbie bakery's pie tins, but changed the name to Flyin' Saucer to avoid legal hassles. Morrison sold the rights to the Wham-O Manufacturing Co. of San Gabriel, California, and on January 13, 1957, Americans were introduced to the “Pluto Platter,” renamed the Frisbee in 1958.
  • In 1958, Wham-O printed the following words on the bottom of each Frisbee: “Play catch. Invent games. To fly, flip away backhand. Flat flip flies straight. Tilted flip curves.”
  • The Frisbie Pie Company went out of business in 1958. In 1994, Mattel acquired Wham-O.
  • In May 1989, Middlebury College in Vermont unveiled a bronze statue of a dog jumping to catch a Frisbee to commemorate the alleged fiftieth anniversary of the Frisbee. According to Middlebury legend, five undergraduates driving through Nebraska in 1939 suffered a flat tire. As two boys changed the tire, a third found a discarded pie tin from the Frisbie Pie Company near a cornfield and threw the circular disk in the air. Middlebury President Olin Robison told Time magazine, "Our version of the story is that it happened all over America, but it started here."
  • The shape of the disc, an airfoil in cross-section, allows the Frisbee to fly.The top of the disc curves so that air flowing over it speeds up, moving faster than the air flowing below the wing. According to Bernoulli’s principle (named for Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli), the air passing rapidly over the top of the spinning disc creates increased air pressure under the disc, which then holds the disc up in the air.
  • The men's outdoor flying disc world record distance toss is 693.3 feet, estbalished by Scott Stokely in Colorado in 1998. The women's long distance record of 447.2 feet was established by Anni Kreml during the U.S. Open Flying Disc Championships in 1994.
  • The game of Ultimate Frisbee was invented in 1969 by high-school students in parking lot in Maplewood, New Jersey. The first intercollegiate game of Ultimate Frisbee was played in 1972 between Princeton University and Rutgers University. Rutgers won.
Copyright © 1995- Joey Green. "Frisbee" is a registered trademark of Mattel, Inc.
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