Posted on January 14, 2015

From their inception in the early 20th century to their current ubiquitousness in every park in the world, frisbees have played a major role in society’s free time. Here’s our frisbees timeline.

William Russell Frisbie founds the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The company’s pies are served in lightweight pie tins with the company’s name embossed on them.

Yale University students toss around the Frisbie pie tins as a game.

Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Melin found the Wham-O company in a garage in Los Angeles.

At the height of the Hollywood obsession with flying saucers, Water Frederick Morrison invents a plastic disk that can be thrown around and called it the “Flyin Saucer”. His first model is not successful.

Morrison creates a new Flyin Saucer model and calls it the “Pluto Platter.”

Wham-O buys the rights to the Pluto Platter from Morrison and manufactures the discs.

Wham-O renames the discs “Frisbees.”

The Frisbe Pie Company goes out of business.

Ed Headrick offers to work for Wham-O without a salary for three months to prove himself. They give him a job in the warehouse, where he takes it upon himself to improve the Frisbee model the company is selling. Their current model is a bit too “wobbly” so Headrick adds ridges and makes other adjustments in order to make it more aerodynamic. Headrick becomes known as “Steady” Ed Headrick.

Dec. 26, 1967
Headrick’s improved design is patented by Wham-O. The Frisbee soars in popularity.

Mattel buys Wham-O.

Oct. 2001
“Steady” Ed Headrick tells the Santa Cruz Sentinel: “I felt the Frisbee had some kind of a spirit involved. It’s not just like playing catch with a ball. It’s the beautiful flight … We used to say that Frisbee is really a religion – ‘Frisbyterians.’ we’d call ourselves. When we die, we don’t go to purgatory. We just land up on the roof and lay there.”

Aug. 12, 2002
“Steady” Ed Headrick dies in his sleep at the age of 78 in La Selva Beach, California. His wishes are that his ashes be molded into limited number of flying discs to be given to family and friends. Remaining discs are to be sold, with the profits going to fund a Frisbee and disc golf museum.

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