The Incredible Origins Of Everyday Items:  Bubble Wrap – Paper Or Plastic?

Because it’s so lightweight and cushiony, Bubble Wrap has become today’s preferred choice for packing material (sorry old-fashioned excelsior and messy Styrofoam popcorn). But for many people, Bubble Wrap is as much a stress-reliever as it is a package protector. There’s just something so cathartic about popping those compressed little pockets of air and listening to the pleasantly staccato noise they make. But just how pleasing would those pockets be if they were permanently ensconced on your walls?
A failed experiment by engineer Alfred Fielding and his partner, Marc Chavannes, Bubble Wrap first came into being in a 1957 New Jersey garage as a space-age, textured wallpaper. Perhaps aghast at discovering their lack of interior design savvy, the duo altered their vision and realized that the bulbous material would be better at protecting fragile items during shipping than it would at adorning the home. They received a U.S. patent for the technology in 1960 and founded Sealed Air Corp. which still exists and holds the trademark on Bubble Wrap and other packaging products.

Categories: Origin Of Things

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