Fun story from Mary Witkowski, director of the Bridgeport History Center, Bridgeport Public Library.
It was beat up. It looked like it had been in a fight. The years of scraping crust out of the bottom of the pie in order to get the last piece had scored lines into the metal. The many washings of the pie plate had made the once bright silver dull with age.
What was the lettering found in the bottom of the plate? The letters were scraped also, with lines from the sharp metal pie servers that carved through the words.
We could barely make it out. What did it say?
There it was.
What was this? Residents who grew up in Bridgeport could tell me. It was a pie tin from the old Frisbie bakery that was located on Kossuth Street in Bridgeport’s East Side.
Maybe this pie tin was fished out from the nearby Pequonnock River, where a lot of pie tins ended up after nearby school kids tossed them around. Playing this game of toss, the kids would yell “Frisbie” so they wouldn’t get hit by the spinning pie tin.
What would William Frisbie have thought about this new use for his pie tins? He started his business of baking pies with his family on Kossuth Street in 1871. Maybe it was his sister baking the pies, maybe it was him, maybe it was his wife’s recipe. But the pies became famous, and everyone would line up to buy a pie at the bakery. You can check out this food blog if you want to learn more about this recipe.
Residents would also remember buying pies for 5 cents when the crust was broken. The pies were delicious.
The game the children were playing made its way to college campuses and the rest is history. Wham-O Corporation made the pie plate idea out of plastic, called it “Frisbee” in 1957, and the pie factory itself closed its doors on Kossuth Street in 1958.
A quick look on Ebay shows Frisbie plates selling from $14.99 to $150.00
If you find Frisbie pie plates in your cupboard, keep your pie plates … they make a great story for your children.
For more fascinating Bridgeport history, check out the Bridgeport History Center.