Kenyon and the History of the Frisbee

Students compete to grab the pie tin, 1950.

Kenyon students in a spirited game of Frisbee, via

There are conflicting stories as to how the game of Frisbee came to be, but what is known is that it has been a collegiate staple ever since students started tossing around pie tins at Yale between the World Wars. Ultimate Frisbee is now an official sport at many colleges, with Kenyon hosting both men’s and women’s teams which compete against other schools in formal tournaments. But Frisbee remains a staple sport in many causal situations, from college quads to company picnics.

Time magazine recently released previously unseen pictures of students at Kenyon in the 1950s tossing around a pie tin (available to see here). Taken approximately seven years before the Frisbee gained it’s official moniker, these photos show the popularity of the sport in its early days and Kenyon was clearly a site of Frisbee popularity as early as the ’50s.

These photos were originally intended for a LIFE magazine piece on the “Educated Man” in modern society. The photos were ultimately replaced with images of Kenyon students studying, but the article does indeed mention Kenyon and can be read here.


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