The Pie That Made Bridgeport Famous

Mary Witkowski
Mary Witkowski holds Frisbie Pie tin.

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.



  1. Many are not aware of the influence the original Frisbie Pie plates had on the world. Frisbee, the plastic disc made by Wham-O, changed backyard sports forever, modeled after the tins. Right here at Ninety Acres Park, now known as Veteran’s Park, is an 18-hole (chain) Disc golf course. The Park City Disc Golf Course attracts thousands of players weekly during warmer weather months, and even now many are playing in the cold, and there are even winter leagues weekly. Designed by local disc golf pro Adam Goodman, the course is constantly being upgraded as popularity and the course fund grows. Funded mostly by the players who are there cleaning and maintaining it daily, and help from the City whenever needed, this course has helped Bridgeport’s image and forever has changed the infamous reputation it had. All because of the “Frisbie” Pie Company!
    Also, there are over 20 courses in Connecticut alone, and another 4,990 nationally, with new one being planned and built weekly! Check out the (PDGA) Professional Disc Golf Association website!

  2. In addition to the Bridgeport Public Library’s Bridgeport History Center, sign up for the BPL Weekly Newsletter, which along with BPL news features a Bpt history item similar to this week’s Frisbie Pie Plate story in each issue:

  3. Back in 1958 I was walking down Kossuth St, minding my own business when I happened by the Frisbie Pie Company. Just as I walked past their huge overhead door, someone from inside the Pie Co. tossed one of those pie tins out the door and hit me in the back of the head. Needless to say I was out cold for a few seconds, but managed to get to my feet. I pick up that pie tin and winged it back with all I had, not realizing it was upside down, right back at the opening of the huge over head door, it curved around like a boomerang into the Pie Company’s assembly line, then I heard someone yell. It turned out to be Mrs. Frisbie who was working the conveyor belt. She quickly ran after me screaming at the top of her lungs “you’ll never get a free pie from us, you little punk!” as a few of her employee started winging pie plates at me. That night I went back and picked those plates up never thinking they would be worth anything. The next day I returned with those pie plates in hand and to do Holy War with the Frisbie Pie Co., only to find the overhead door was closed for good, now I know what Mrs. Frisbie meant. I’m sure I have those pie tins somewhere in my mother’s attic.


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