L'il Abner's Flyin' Saucer

Top view of a flying saucer showing the curved ridges on the upper surface. Close view of a flying saucer showing the fins and label. Side view of a flying saucer showing the domed shaped. Side view of a flying saucer showing the domed shaped. Side view of a flying saucer showing the domed shaped. Side view of a flying saucer showing the domed shaped. Underside view of a flying saucer showing the smal lip running around the edge. Close view of a flying saucer showing the moulded inscription. Front view of a flying saucer showing the paper label. Rear view of a flying saucer showing the paper label.
Top view of a flying saucer showing the curved ridges on the upper surface. Close view of a flying saucer showing the fins and label. Side view of a flying saucer showing the domed shaped. Side view of a flying saucer showing the domed shaped. Side view of a flying saucer showing the domed shaped. Side view of a flying saucer showing the domed shaped. Underside view of a flying saucer showing the smal lip running around the edge. Close view of a flying saucer showing the moulded inscription. Front view of a flying saucer showing the paper label. Rear view of a flying saucer showing the paper label.

Description

A yellow L'il Abner's Flyin' Saucer with a paper insert, designed by Fred Morrison in 1948, US. Fred Morrison and Warren Franscioni were pilots during WWII and worked together after the war. Inspired to create a new toy by watching children throwing empty pie tins to each other to catch, Morrison began by constructing tenite (cellulose acetate) plastic models in 1947. Together they founded their company Pipco (Partners In Plastic COmpany), purchased an injection moulding machine and produced their first flying disc, the Arcuate Vane, in butyl stearate in 1948. It was sold in marketplaces, with demonstrations of how it worked, then at Disneyland. Later that year, they produced a L'il Abner label and paper insert for the discs, using the popular satirical comic strip drawn by Alfred Caplin (Al Capp) to promote sales. Capp believed Pipco had breached their agreement by producing the insert, which features the series' characters explaining how to play. $5000 were paid in damages which forced the closure of Pipco in 1950. Morrison continued to sell the discs for a few years, eventually selling the rights to the Wham-O Corporation in 1957 who trademarked the name frisbee in 1959, now synonymous with flying discs. 1600 of the original unused Arcuate Vanes were discovered, stored in a warehouse, in 1977 where this example is believed to have originated.
Designers & Manufacturers
Designer (Person)
Manufacturer

Inscriptions

moulded: "Pipco Product. Official Flying Saucer. Glendale Calif. (Pipco logo)" (centre, underneath)

Object number

AIBDC : 008605

Date

1948

Country

Dimensions
Depth
50mm
Diameter
236mm

Colour