All great promotional products have a story behind them. How were they invented? Who invented them? When was the first of them sold? Today we are looking into the beginnings of the frisbee, a great and timeless product that we have enjoyed at some point in our childhood. The conceptualization of the name of this product goes at least 90 years back, starting in the late 1800’s, when William Russell Frisbie bought a company and named it “Frisbie Pie”. Although “Frisbie Pie” didn’t have any product named “frisbee”, it contributed to the frisbee’s name.
Years ago, when technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today, people had to create their own toys from scratch. The “Frisbie Pie” company made an inventive toy in the form of a tin. This tin was thrown around, making it seem like a flying object. How it worked, in a nutshell, was that one person yelled “frisbie” and throw the tin to another person. So the problem with this tin toy was that it was hazardous product.
In the following century, in 1937, Fred Morrison was playing around with a pie tin when a someone passing by asked to buy the pie tin from him. That’s when he decided to start selling pie tins to the public. He had initially called the product “Flying Cake Pans” but soon changed it to “Whirlo Way”, and finally concluding on “Pluto Platter”. The name sounded better, as extraterrestrial beings were popular in those times and so Fred thought that by changing the name it would bring him more sales. The problem with “Pluto Platter” was that Fred’s strength lied in aerodynamics and not in marketing. Advertising the “Pluto Platter” had potential, but Fred just didn’t know how to implement the right tactics, so he sold the “Pluto Platter” to a toy company who had more expertise in this area. This company, called “Wham-O”, traveled across America to sell the “Pluto Platter” to toy shops and finally got a big break when they learned that there was an opportunity to market the “Pluto Platter” tp college students. College students were partaking in a game called “frisbei-ing”, so “Wham-O” changed the “Pluto Plater’s” name to “Frisbee”. Fred Morrison was obviously not happy abut this changed but , oh well, it worked.
The name was catchy and memorable, and quickly became one of the most sold items during the 50’s. Frisbees are still a popular toy and part of many of our childhoods. And now you know the story! Not only are frisbees entertaining toys for children around the world, but they also make for great promo products that your clients will love and appreciate. Frisbees have a sentimental value to many, how good of an idea would promoting your brand with them be?