SANTA MONICA—The man who gave the still-popular gift of the frisbee, has passed away at the age of 90. Walter Frederick Morrison, who ushered in the era of the frisbee craze, was a Los Angeles resident when he perfected the frisbee prototype. Morrison passed away this week while at his residence in Utah.
Morrison is credited with designing and selling the first frisbee, which was known as the Pluto Platter, among other early names. It is believed that Morrison was always interested in the physics behind flying objects, though his curiosity and knowledge may have dovetailed during WWII. Morrison, like many famous names of his generation, was an active armed forces participant in WWII. After serving his time, he continued toward a dream of creating a catchy object with which a couple (or additional players) could enjoy a simple yet enjoyable pastime, with a lightweight spinning object. Within one decade, his idea was picked up and the toy began to receive the attention of a full-scale marketing campaign.
Morrison was a Southern California resident when he designed the frisbee prototype. He discovered the design with his then girlfriend Lu, whom he later married, and they both started a business called “Flyin’ Cake Pans,” where they sold the first prototype on the beaches of Santa Monica. However, it was Wham-O, a Bay Area business located around Emoryville, which ultimately helped Morrison’s foray into toys to become financially fruitful. Just over 50 years ago, in 1957, Morrison officially began a working relationship with Wham-O, after the company successfully negotiated a contract with Morrison to sell his flying brainchild.
Though its look has changed over the decades, the ultimate design of the frisbee has remained the same: a disc-shaped object which can easily fly through the air and can be tossed between two or more players.