(Bubble) Wrapper's Delight

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replenishing electronic toy is designed to mimic the sound and feel of bubble wrap, though it does come with some added pleasure. Every 100 pops you get a surprise sound effect (a barking dog, door chime, sexy voice, fart sound, etc) intended to induce smiles. As reported, the slogan sums it up: "Anytime, anywhere, forever"¦ you can PuchiPuchi." Indeed.

In any case, all this puchipuchi talk made me curious about the origins of the wonder wrap, so I got a staffer to look it up. Here's what we found out:

BURSTING THE BUBBLE WRAP (How IBM Saved Bad Wallpaper)
Before 1957, packages were stuffed with curled wood shavings, wadded pieces of paper, corrugated cardboard, and stale popcorn. Thankfully, two young engineers from New Jersey, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes, set out to make a name for themselves with a snazzy new product for the mid-century jet age. Specifically, they wanted to make plastic wallpaper. Unfortunately, when they ironed two pieces of plastic together, they ended up with air-filled pockmarks. More unfortunately, nobody wanted to put this stuff on their walls. Trying to salvage some lemonade from their lemons, Fielding and Chavannes retrenched, pitching their new material as insulation for greenhouses. No takers there either. Finally, after several years, the duo realized that their cushy plastic sheets would make gret packing material for a high-tech new gadget made by one International Business Machine Corporation—the computer. IBM liked the stuff, and it's been delighting shipping companies (and the young, young-at-heart and bored) ever since.

Great story, right? Well, if you're tired of all this bubble wrap talk, and looking for immediate (virtual) satisfaction, be sure to click here.

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June 26, 2007 - 4:25am
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