National Bubble Wrap Day (also known as National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day) on the last Monday in January recognizes a fascinating piece of invention. Today, bubble wrap’s primary purpose is to protect fragile items either in shipping or storage. Of course, people also take enjoyment from popping the bubbles in bubble wrap, too.
- Marc Chavannes and Alfred Fielding first sealed two shower curtains together in 1956 in the town of Hawthorne, New Jersey. This technique created a smattering of air bubbles. The two engineers initially thought their creation would make a great wallpaper! However, sales for the wallpaper never materialized. So, Chavannes and Fielding moved to sell the product as greenhouse insulation.
- The product was originally named Air Cap and produced by the Sealed Air Corporation which was founded in 1960. In 1961, the product evolved into the Bubble Wrap we know today when it protected IBM’s 1401 computer when it started shipping. Sealed Air Corporation trademarked Bubble Wrap and has been filling shipping needs ever since.
- Bubble Wrap® was almost an official toy. Bubble Wrap made it to the National Toy Hall of Fame finals in 2016. It was up against other serious contenders. While it didn’t make it in, we hope it will one day.
- Bubble Wrap® goes virtual. Did you know you can pop virtual Bubble Wrap®? Download the app for your phone or de-stress at your desk.
- According to a 1992 study conducted by Professor Kathleen Dillon, popping the sheet can promote relaxation. It may be because we are likely to feel relaxed by sensations of touch.
- You can use bubble wrap for insulating windows and plants!
- If you don’t want to carry a sleeping bag while camping, a 2m roll of bubble wrap works good as well. Just fold it into half with bubble side up, tape the edges and slip in the cosy makeshift bed for a good night’s rest.
- Line the crisper drawer with bubble wrap to prevent bruises to fruit and other produce. Cleaning the fridge will be easier too – when the lining gets dirty, just throw it away and replace it with fresh bubble wrap.
- Tired of scraping your windshield every winter morning? Cover it with a sheet of bubble cushioning the night before to reduce frost. And if it snowed overnight, just pull it off and the snow will come with it!
- Each year Bubble Wrap hosts a ‘Young Inventor’ award that encourages them to find ways to use Bubble Wrap outside of packaging.
- When transporting critically ill patients, Norwegian emergency medicine technicians sometimes use Bubble Wrap to prevent hypothermia in the frigid climate.
- Bubble wrap is in the Museum of Modern Art. In 2004, the Museum of Modern Art accepted a donation from Sealed Air of a nearly 12-inch by 12-inch square of Bubble Wrap into their Architecture and Design collection. It went on display as part of their Humble Masterpieces collection, which also featured chopsticks and the Band-Aid.
- Bubble Wrap is made in 52 countries. Every year, enough of the poppable stuff is made that it could wrap around the equator 10 times, or make it to the moon and back.
- In 1993, inventors Marc Chavannes and Alfred Fielding received a coveted spot in the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame for their Bubble Wrap contributions. Other honorees include Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein.
- The “Popping Bubble Wrap” Facebook group has 460,000 members.