A brief history of the frisbee

Essay by yeahbigdCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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The Long Flight of the Frisbee's Past

Being on a college campus, it is routine to see many students tossing a disc around or playing ultimate Frisbee. But, where did this concept come from? Over the last few thousand years, people around the globe have been tossing round discs for fun, for sport, and even as weapons. There are actually reports of Roman soldiers using their shields as Frisbees. Stories tell how, at the battle of Zarma in 202BC, the Roman army confronted Hannibal and the force of Carthage hurling razor sharp shields Frisbee fashion towards the opposition and winning the battle (Scotland). Nowadays, this is not a conventional war or Frisbee game method. What we now know as the Frisbee has gone through an extensive history in order to get where it is today. The first modern Frisbees came into this world, not as plastic flying discs, but as pie tins sold through The Frisbie Baking Company (1871-1958) of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The baking company made pies that were sold to numerous New England colleges. Many college students soon discovered that the empty pie tins could be thrown and caught, providing endless hours of tossing fun. Fast forward to 1948 when Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the Frisbie that could fly further, and with better precision, than a tin pie plate. Springing off the country's fascination with aliens, UFOs, and Roswell, New Mexico, Morrison and Franscioni marketed their flying disc as the Pluto Platter. Late in 1955, Rich Knerr and "Spud" Melin bought the disc from Morrison, after he had split with Franscioni, and marketed it under their new toy company, Wham-O. With a deal signed, Wham-O began production of more Pluto Platters. The next year, the original Frisbie Baking Company...