'Pop' Icon: Bubble Wrap Turns 50

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It's the last Monday in January and that means it's officially Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. That's according to the folks at Sealed Air, the company formed in 1960 to manufacture and market what we know as Bubble Wrap. They're marking this year as their product's 50th anniversary. More than 250 Facebook pages are dedicated to Bubble Wrap.


Evolution has brought us many things, and five decades ago it brought us this. Shall we, Steve?


Oh please. Let's go.

(Soundbite of bubble wrap popping)

INSKEEP: That's the sound of bubble wrap, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a bang.

SHAPIRO: Bubble wrap's manufacturer, Sealed Air Corporation, celebrates National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on the last Monday of every January.

INSKEEP: This year, the company is looking back to the time when two inventors developed this product in a small lab in New Jersey in the late 1950s.

SHAPIRO: They thought - no joke - they were creating a new kind of wallpaper. Then one of the investors looked out of an airplane window and noticed the way that the clouds seemed to cushion the plane during its descent.

INSKEEP: Now, of course, it is packaging as well as one of the favorite toys of my five-year-old.

SHAPIRO: And it has become a big part of pop culture. On this 50th birthday, we can tell you that more than 250 Facebook pages are dedicated to bubble wrap.

INSKEEP: All right.

(Soundbite of bubble wrap popping)

(Soundbite of music)

SHAPIRO: This is NPR News.

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