INVENTOR OF THE PLASTIC PINK FLAMINGO HAS DIED
As most of my friends know, I have always been a huge fan of the pink flamingos..Had them in many of my yards and collected all sorts of flamingo items that I still have today...So I want to share the story of their inventor Don Featherstone who passed away yesterday...
Mr. Featherstone created the pink flamingo in 1957 after graduating from art school at the Worcester Art Museum. He worked at Union Products in Leominster, and the pink flamingo was one of 750 items he created for the company.
In 1996 Mr. Featherstone was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in art. The prize is a parody of the Nobel Prizes and given to honor unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. That year he also was appointed president of Union Products, a post he held until 2000.
Perhaps not shockingly, the pink flamingo lawn ornament was invented in the same decade that polyester pants, pink washing machines, vinyl wallpaper and Naugahyde lounge chairs were cool.
Flamingo fans worldwide owe their thanks to Don Featherstone a one-time employee of a plastics company called Union Products, who designed the first pink flamingo lawn ornament in 1957.
When they first hit stores, the blushing birds cost $2.76 a pair and were an immediate hit in working-class subdivisions from the Redwood Forest to the Gulfstream waters. This bird was made for you and me.
The 1960s were a decade of backlash against conformity, false experience, and all things Parental -- including, evidently, Mom and Dad's lawn décor. Hippies rallied against the plastics industry, cultural critics chastised all things "un-natural," and home and garden magazines pleaded with people to abandon the gnomes, lawn jockeys and flamingos of yesteryear in favor of classier, more natural yard décor.
By 1970, even Sears had stopped selling the pink flamingo, replacing the gaping hole in their garden department with natural-looking fountains and rocks, according to the historian Jennifer Price. Her book, "Flight Maps" (Basic Books, 1999), has a chapter on the plastic flamingo. It's a must-read for flamingo aficionados. READ MORE HERE
Posted by Retro Kimmer at 1:39 PM
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