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Walter Fredrick Morrison promoting his Pluto Platters, the forerunner of the Frisbee, in the 1950s.

Walter Fredrick "Fred" Morrison (January 23, 1920 – February 9, 2010)[1] was an American inventor and entrepreneur, best known as the inventor of the Frisbee.[2][3][4] He was born in Richfield, Utah.

Morrison claimed that the original idea for a flying disc toy came to him in 1937, 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. Morrison and Lu developed a little business selling "Flyin' Cake Pans" on the beaches of Santa Monica, California.

During World War II he learned something of aeronautics flying his P-47 Thunderbolt in Italy. He was shot down and was a prisoner of war for 48 days.

In 1946, he sketched out a design (called the Whirlo-Way) for the world's first flying disc. In 1948 an investor, Warren Franscioni, paid for molding the design in plastic. 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 Wham-O marketed the toy as the "Pluto Platter", but in 1958 they added the name Frisbee, a misspelling of the name of the Frisbie Pie Company.[5]

Morrison and his wife, Lu Nay Morrison had three children. Lu died in 1987.[6]

There is a disc golf course in Holladay, Utah named in his honor.

Morrison died in his home at the age of 90 on February 9, 2010.[7]

Published works

  • Flat Flip Flies Straight with Phil Kennedy (Wormhole Publishers, 2006)

References

External links

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