Way Back When … 1871

An early Frisbie truck

An early Frisbie truck

Photo courtesy of Frisbee Pie

“Brooklawn: A Walk in the Park,” the new exhibition at the Fairfield Museum, features stories about some of the neighborhood’s home’s original owners. The house at 32 Lookout Drive was once the home of Joseph Frisbie. Here is his story.

In 1871 William Russell Frisbie founded Frisbie’s Pies in Bridgeport. He began by making pies in the basement of his home. The pies became quite popular and he used a horse-drawn carriage to deliver them. By the turn of the century the word “Frisbie” meant two things: the pie company and the clear and present danger of a heavy metal pie tin whizzing through the air. William died in 1903 and his son Joseph took over the company.

Due to increasing demand for the pies, in 1915 Joseph built a three-story building in Bridgeport for the company, and he expanded the number of routes from six to 250, opening shops in Hartford, Providence and Poughkeepsie, NY. Frisbie’s home in the Brooklawn neighborhood was constructed in 1913.

At the same time, the pie tins themselves were becoming famous. Somehow someone figured out that they possessed aerodynamic qualities. They were fun to throw and catch! The game spread from workmen and factories into the streets and even to the campus of Yale University. Eventually, in the 1950s, one of them landed on a boardroom table at a California-based toy company called Wham-O.

To learn more about the stories of the people who created, developed, and lived in the Brooklawn neighborhood, visit the Fairfield Museum. The exhibition runs through November 11 in the Ruth Carlson Horn Gallery.

The Fairfield Museum & History Center and Museum Shop, located at 370 Beach Road, is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Members of the Museum and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information, call 203-259-1598 or visit Fairfieldhistory.org.