Bubble Wrap Inventors Have Their Bubbles Burst¹
In 1957, Al Fielding and Marc Chavannes were trying to create a textured wallpaper. To do so, they sealed two shower curtains together so that air bubbles were captured, giving the wallpaper a textured appearance.
But the wallpaper idea didn’t sell too well. Undeterred, they decided to market their invention as greenhouse insulation. Though the material did offer some insulation, this idea didn’t pan out, either.
On October 5, 1959, IBM had announced their new 1401 variable word length computer. Frederick W. Bowers, a marketer at Sealed Air, got the idea that Bubble Wrap could be used as a good packaging material to protect the computer while it was being shipped. He pitched the idea and IBM began purchasing Bubble Wrap to protect their 1401 and other fragile products they sold and shipped.