'Pop' Icon: Bubble Wrap Turns 50

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.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ARI SHAPIRO, host:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

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.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: