Bubble Wrap exists because of a failed invention! You’re shocked, right? I was too!
Bubble Wrap was “invented” in 1957 by engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in Hawthorne, New Jersey.
Fielding and Chavannes sealed two shower curtains together, (WHY???) creating a smattering of air bubbles, which they originally tried to sell as WALLPAPER. When the product turned out to be unsuccessful as wallpaper, (Ya, think?) the team marketed it as greenhouse insulation.
Although Bubble Wrap was branded by Sealed Air Corporation (founded by Fielding and Chavannes) in 1960, it was not until a year later that its use in protective usage was discovered. (The phrase Bubble Wrap is a copyrighted name! We’re all going to jail!)
As a packaging material, Bubble Wrap’s first client was IBM, which used the product to protect the IBM 1401 computer during shipment.
Fielding and Chavannes were inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 1993.
The last Monday of January was designated as Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day after “Spirit 95” Radio, an FM radio station in Bloomington, IN received a shipment of microphones wrapped in bubble wrap, which, after being unwrapped and installed, inadvertently broadcast the sound of their wrappings being popped.
Sealed Air celebrated Bubble Wrap’s 50th birthday in January 2010.
In the spring of 2015, Sealed Air introduced a version that will no longer pop. Instead, air will shift in columns of bubbles.