A “frisbee” is a gliding toy or sporting item that is usually made of plastic and roughly 8 to 10 inches in diameter. It is used as a toy or in competitions for throwing and catching, as in flying disc games.
The frisbee actually began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1871, with the Frisbie Pie Company. Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling “Frisbie!” as they let go.
It was not until 1948 that the partnership of Morrison and Franscioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the “Flying Saucer” that could fly further and be thrown more accurately than tin pie plates. Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the toy company Wham-O as the “Pluto Platter” during the public craze over space and UFOs.
In 1957, Wham-O co-founders gave the disc the brand name “Frisbee” after learning that college students were calling the Pluto Platter by that term.
The Frisbee was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.
There are many different games played with the frisbee, such as “Double disc court,” “Disc dogs,” and “Disc golf.” High school students in Maplewood, New Jersey, invented Ultimate Frisbee, a cross between football, soccer, and basketball, in 1967. There is also Freestyle Frisbee, with choreographed routines set to music and multiple discs in play.
The longest recorded disc throw is by David Wiggins Jr. with a distance of 1,109 feet. Disc dog sports use relatively slow-flying discs made of more pliable material to better resist a dog’s bite and prevent injury to the dog. Flying rings are also available which typically travel significantly farther than any traditional flying disc. Illuminated discs are made of phosphorescent plastic or contain chemiluminescent fluid or battery-powered LEDs for play after dark. Others whistle when they reach a certain velocity in flight.
By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million units of its famous toy by 1977. The official Frisbee is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers, who bought the toy from Wham-O in 1994.
I am going to look at my tin foil pie plates with new awe and respect.