Skip to content

Sadly, Walter Morrison has been shuffled off this mortal coil, probably on a flying disc of some sort

Feb 13, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

It’s funny how things go in this crazy world. One minute, you are living your life to the fullest, and then before you know it, WHAM-O! You’re gone.
Walter Frederick Johnson, the man credited with inventing one of the most simple yet entertaining recreational toys ever, the Frisbee, passed away Tuesday at his home in Monroe, Utah after a long life. He was 90.

With worldwide sales at over 200 million, to say the Frisbee was a popular item would be an understatement. Morrison came up with the idea for the Frisbee after he and his wife would throw a tin cake pan back and forth at the beach. After serving in WWII, Morrison began researching how to make the pans fly better. He began to manufacture his invention in 1948, and the rest, as they say, is history.

He would hawk the discs at local fairs and eventually attracted Wham-O Manufacturing, the company that bought the rights to Morrison’s plastic discs.

Kennedy says Wham-O adopted the name “Frisbee” because that’s what college students in New England were calling the Pluto Platters. The name came from the Frisbie Pie Co., a local bakery whose empty tins were tossed like the soon-to-be Frisbee.

So, allow me a tip of the cap to one of the true visionaries of our era. Walter Morrison, a clever man who came up with an ingenious product. He was a real world Norville Barnes, you could say, and his simple invention has been a delight and a source of entertainment for decades and will be for years to come.
You know, for kids. Oh, and hippies. And I suppose dogs. You know what, show me a person who doesn’t enjoy tossing the Frisbee around, and I’ll show you…um…a person with no arms, I guess.
Frisbee inventor dies at 90 [The Seattle Times]

  1. Rick Chandler - Feb 13, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Is there a larger model for the obese?