Bridgeport pie company keeps history alive

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — The origins of the frisbee can be traced back to Bridgeport, Connecticut. And it all started with these famous pie tins. In tonight’s Working for Connecticut, we meet the owner of the rejuvenated Frisbie Pie Company who is keeping history alive one tin at a time.

The Frisbee Pie Company was founded in 1871 by a gentleman named William Russell Frisbie. That business grew into the turn of the century, into the early 1900s right through the peak time period in the late-mid ’40’s in to the early 50’s at which time the Frisbie Pie Company was producing tens of thousands of pies and delivering them throughout the east coast.

President and CEO of the Frisbie’s Pie Company Dan O’Connor says he’s been curious about the origin of the frisbee since he was young.

While I was at a tag sale kicking around, I was about 22-23 years old, just out of college, and I came across a Frisbie pie tin. The curiosity and the questions stuck. What was the history? How, if this is the name, did it become the toy as we know it today?“

O’Connor says he’s taken his curiosity and has been researching to find answers about the frisbee.

From that time period, which is now close to 35 years, I’ve been digging in and researching and following up and following the history of the frisbee as we know it — the name, the story and the activity of throwing the tins. The participation by both college students as well as employees of the factory became the international toy we know today as the frisbee.”

O’Connor says he not only has researched the history of the frisbee, but also its role in games such as disc golf.

I’ve been chasing not only the Frisbie’s Pie Company memorabilia and history, recipes, but also the plastic frisbee as a participant in both ultimate frisbee, disc golf, freestyle, and canine.”

According to O’Connor, sometimes there’s an emotional connection attached to the pie tins.

I actually had a call from somebody whose father worked at the Frisbie Pie Company. The gentleman is 97 years old. I got a call from his daughter asking if there’s an opportunity or chance I could stop by and share that with her and her dad just to rekindle some of the memories. So it’s really an emotional connection that supersedes the actual pie itself.”

If you have an idea for someone we should talk with for ‘Working for Connecticut,’ send us an email or Facebook message, and watch News 8 every Thursday for more stories on the people who are working to make Connecticut a great place to live.

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