21 June 2007

The Amazing Whirlo-Way!

It's really amazing, the stuff you end up knowing about just because of the Internet.

Thanks Walter, we really appreciate your gift to all of us!


Walter Frederick Morrison
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Walter Fredrick Morrison is best known as the inventor of the Frisbee. He was born in Richfield, Utah. He currently resides in Monroe, Utah. There is a Disc Golf course named in his honor located in Holladay, Utah.

Fred claims that the original idea came to him while throwing a popcorn can lid with his girlfriend, Lu, whom he later married. The popcorn lid soon dented which led to the discovery that cake pans flew better and were more common. The two of them developed a little business selling "Flyin' Cake Pans" on the beaches of Santa Monica, CA. During World War II he learned something of aeronautics flying fighter-bombers in Italy. He was shot down and was a POW at the infamous Stalag 13. In 1946 he sketched out a design (called the Whirlo-Way) for the world's first flying disc. In 1948 he involved an investor, Warren Franscioni, who paid for molding his design out of plastic. This was the world's first plastic flying disc, and they named it the Flyin-Saucer. In 1954 Fred bought more of the Saucers from the original molders to sell at local fairs, but found he could produce his own disc more cheaply. In 1955 he and Lu designed the Pluto Platter...the archetype of all modern flying discs. On January 23, 1957 they sold the rights for the Pluto Platter to the Wham-O toy company. Initially it was marketed by Wham-O still as the "Pluto Platter", but in 1958 Wham-O added the name Frisbee, a (probably deliberate) misspelling of the name of the Frisbie Pie Company.

He has recently written an autobiography entitled Flat Flip Flies Straight, coauthored with disc historian and collector Phil Kennedy.

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