It’s National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Have you ever thought about how it came to be? The calendar tells us: Engineers Marc Chavannes and Alfred Fielding sealed two shower curtains together in 1956 in the town of Hawthorne, New Jersey. This technique created a smattering of air bubbles which the engineers initially thought would make a great wallpaper! Sales for the wallpaper never materialized, so they moved to selling the product as greenhouse insulation. (Can you imagine it as wallpaper? Not!)
The Sealed Air Corporation was founded in 1960, but Air Cap (name before it became Bubble Wrap) wasn’t used for shipping until IBM starting shipping the 1401 computer in 1961. Bubble Wrap is a trademarked brand of Sealed Air Corporation.
Today, we wrap everything in it. Rolls of it are sold in packaging, office supply, and hardware stores. I used to work at a retail store and the employees would fight over who got to pop the bubbles, or take the piece that arrived that day home to their children. One person admitted to taking it home for herself to jump on to vent anger. Everyone likes to pop bubbles. It’s a good thing there are parts of us that just never grow up.
Occasionally we would get something wrapped in bubble wrap that was more of a honeycomb and the air moved between the bubbles, so one couldn’t POP the bubbles. We were always disappointed when it was that type. Then, the store owner had a couple of grandchildren; the discussion as to who got to take it home ended. Any piece, big or small went on the owner’s office chair and her grandchildren got to have the fun. I’m not working there anymore, I don’t know who gets it now, but I’m sure it doesn’t go to waste.
Let’s give a big thank you to engineers Marc and Alfred for giving us a great product that has multiple uses, and can be used to entertainment. Pop those bubbles folks!