Two scientists set out to design a revolutionary new wallpaper, and the Bubble Wrap was created by chance.
The year was 1957, and Alfred Fielding, a mechanical engineer with a machine shop business in Hawthorne, New Jersey, and Marc Chavannes, a Swiss chemical engineer, were attempting to get a concept off the ground.
They were huddled together, thinking of ways to improve upon conventional wallcovering by adding a textured plastic coating.
A couple of plastic shower curtains were formerly heat-sealed together. While the formation of air pockets between cells was not what the researchers had in mind, they recognised its potential and went on to create a machine and technique to facilitate such formation in a grid.
Even while the inventors of Bubble Wrap (a plastic sheet containing air “cells,” as they put it in their patent application) undoubtedly thought they were onto something, it turned out that this invention wasn’t a good fit for use as wallpaper.
In 1960, Fielding and Chavannes established Sealed Air Corporation with the goal of marketing their invention, Air Cap.
The epiphany came at an altitude of fewer than 20,000 feet.
Chavannes was in a little propeller aircraft that was making its way to Newark through the clouds. The journey had probably been tough. Staring out the window, he saw that the clouds seemed to be softening the impact of the flight’s fall. And then it hit him: he and his partner could sell Air Cap as cushioning material for shipping.
When IBM initially launched the 1401 Data Processing System in October 1959, it was one of the company’s first commercial computers.
Sealed Air’s material was about to receive its big break when IBM needed the means to move all those computers.
It solved all of IBM’s issues. Their computers would be safe throughout transport. Consequently, many more companies began making use of Bubble Wrap.
Wedding gowns, chocolate moulds, and paint rollers are just a few more applications that the two creators probably never considered. Can you see them making cameos in movies like “Naked Gun 33 1/3,” “Wall-E,” or “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective?” Do you think they saw Farrah Fawcett wearing it, at least loosely, in an issue of Playboy magazine?
Experiments done by Kathleen M. Dillon, a retired professor of psychology at Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts, showed that bursting Bubble Wrap relieves stress and makes the popper more energetic.
When squished and popped, bubble wrap creates a pleasurable popping sound, making it a popular toy. While the Mugen Puchipuchi is a little electronic toy that simulates bursting bubble wrap, some websites also provide a virtual bubble wrap application that shows a sheet of bubble wrap that users may pop by clicking on the bubbles. Stress-relieving products like Pop-Its, which can be turned over and popped again, had a huge surge in sales in 2021.
After a radio station in Bloomington, Indiana, received a shipment of microphones wrapped in bubble wrap and aired the sound of their wrappings being ruptured, the final Monday of January was proclaimed as Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day.
Since 2015, consumers may order a variant of Bubble Wrap that arrives in flat rolls and must be inflated by hand.
Of course, it’s more cost-effective since the business isn’t transporting as much air. The continuous pattern resembles the lower intestines due to the inflated design rather than discrete bubbles. This variant may come under fire from Bubble Wrap purists, who may find it infuriating that this Bubble Wrap can’t be burst. Because the air pockets of iBubble Wrap are arranged in rows and columns, applying pressure to one “bubble” forces air into adjacent bubbles.
It was only natural for Elon Musk to tweet his reaction upon hearing about the non-popping Bubble Wrap: “Clearly a sign of the apocalypse!”
However, there is a serious side to all this play: Governments throughout the globe are outlawing single-use plastics like shopping bags and straws, which might spell trouble for Bubble Wrap.