Would you believe that bubble wrap, everyone’s favorite popping packing material, was originally marketed as wallpaper? It’s true!
While bubble wrapping is now equally famous both for being fun to pop, and for having excellent cushioning qualities, its inventors had something very different in mind.
According to Wikipedia: “Bubble wrap was invented in 1957 by engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in Hawthorne, New Jersey, USA. Fielding and Chavannes sealed two shower curtains together, creating a smattering of air bubbles, which they originally tried to sell as wallpaper. When the product turned out to be unsuccessful as wallpaper, the team marketed it as greenhouse insulation. Although Bubble Wrap was branded by Sealed Air Corporation (founded by Fielding and Chavannes) in 1960, it was not until a year later that its use in protective packaging was discovered. As a packaging material, Bubble Wrap’s first client was IBM, which used the product to protect the IBM 1401 computer during shipment. Fielding and Chavannes were inducted into the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame in 1993.”
Can you imagine what it would be like if bubble wrap had caught on and become popular for its original intended purpose? You would certainly have to think twice before leaning on a nearby wall!