Three Cheers for Bubble Wrap!

Conservation and preservation

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bubble wrap,
exhibition

I’m always on the lookout for anniversaries and national observances to help get the conversation going in our social media networks.  There seems to be something for everything – even Bubble Wrap!  Apparently the last Monday of January is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, originally the brainchild of an FM radio station in Indiana dating back to 2001. That means Monday 28 January 2013 was a day for celebrating this great invention, as well as marking its 53rd birthday. 

I’m sure this protective packaging is much lauded by museum curators the world over.  A quick Google search uncovered the fact that we owe our gratitude to American engineer Al Fielding and Swiss inventor Marc Chavannes who came up with the idea in 1957 when experimenting with shower curtains in order to create a new kind of plastic textured wallpaper.

Founding the Sealed Air Corporation, the team originally marketed the product as greenhouse insulation, but later realised its potential as packaging material, branding it as Bubble Wrap and introducing it to the public in January 1960. Its first major client was IBM.  Sealed Air is still going and apparently produces enough Bubble Wrap to stretch from the Earth to the Moon each year.

I particularly appreciated the attributes of this great cushioning product when packing up our travelling exhibition Bravest of the Brave recently to ensure its safe delivery by truck to Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula.   It arrived safe and sound at the Port Lincoln RSL museum where it will be on display until 23 February.

Apparently there are more than 250 pages dedicated to Bubble Wrap on Facebook, although there is only one official one.   And there are games to play online and apps for your mobile such as Bubble FREE which you can download from iTunes

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