Did you know that Bubble Wrap which we irresistibly squeeze and pop was an accidental invention? In 1957, engineer Alfred Fielding and chemist Marc Chavannes were trying to create a textured wallpaper. They sealed two plastic shower curtains together and what they got was a sheet of film with air-filled bumps across. Though initially disappointed, they quickly turned around their failure. And their creation went on to revolutionise the packaging industry, protecting thousands of fragile products transported worldwide.
To make the original version of Bubble Wrap, Fielding and Chavannes used two shower curtains and sealed them together with air bubbles in between. According to Joey Green in his book “The Bubble Wrap Book”, the two inventors set out to develop a machine that created a type of plastic wallpaper with a paper backing. But their machine ended up just creating sheets of plastic with air bubbles in between. Unsurprisingly, their plastic wallpaper wasn’t a hit, and it didn’t sell well. But luckily, they didn’t stop there.
After its failed introduction as wallpaper, Fielding and Chavannes set out to market Bubble Wrap as a material for greenhouse insulation. Although Bubble Wrap does have some insulating properties, it’s simply not as effective at insulating as other materials. That’s why it was no surprise that this idea also didn’t take off. Yet again, Bubble Wrap failed to ignite the market and get noticed by people.
Since then, Bubble Wrap continued to grow and a become a fundamental tool in the shipping industry. Today, Bubble Wrap is one of the most popular materials for packing and shipping goods, becoming as essential as cardboard boxes and Styrofoam. Bubble Wrap now comes in a variety of styles and designs, and it consistently earns Sealed Air (its manufacturer and trademark holder) hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Not bad for something that started out as wallpaper.
Credit : Box Factory
Picture Credit Google