The year is 1957. The Soviets launch Sputnik. The Dodgers abandon Brooklyn. Elvis conquers the airwaves with Jailhouse Rock. All the while, history is underway in Hawthorne, New Jersey, where engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes are quietly developing a top-secret technology destined to outlast even the most formidable cultural icons of their age.
That's right: They invent Bubble Wrap®. And, like most great innovations, their genius begins as an accident. Hoping to connect with fashion-forward 'Beatniks' of their generation, Fielding and Chavannes seal together two shower curtains — air bubbles intact — and market their creation as textured wallpaper.
The waffled wall-covering is a marketplace flop. Undeterred, Fielding and Chavannes trade counterculture for agriculture, and position their creation as greenhouse insulation. But that idea, too, proves fruitless.
Enter the International Business Machines Corporation. With the launch of its popular 1401 Data Processing System in 1960, IBM needs protective packaging for sensitive, sizable shipments of delicate electronics. In response, Fielding and Chavannes brand their bulbous brainchild, found the Sealed Air Corporation (now home to such leading packaging technologies as Cryovac®, Jiffy Mailer® and FillTeck®) — and the true calling of Bubble Wrap is born.
Since those early days, Bubble Wrap has earned raving friends and fans the world over. Its barrier-sealed bubbles are unparalleled in their protection. Its therapeutic value is, well... perfectly palliative. And its perennial ability to entertain people of all ages is positively pop-tastic.