A baker named William Russel Frisbie, of Warren, Connecticut, and later of Bridgeport, came up with a clever marketing idea back in the 1870s. He put the family name in relief on the bottom of the light tin pans in which his company’s homemade pies were sold. The pans were reusable, but every time a housewife started to bake a pie in one, she would see the name Frisbie and, it was hoped, think, "How much easier to buy one". Eventually Mr. Frisbie’s pies were sold throughout much of Connecticut, including New Haven.
There, sometime in the 1940s, Yale students began sailing the pie tins through the air and catching them. A decade later, out in California, a flying-saucer enthusiast named Walter Frederick Morrison designed a saucer-like disk for playing catch. It was produced by a company named Wham-O. On a promotional tour of college campuses, the president of Wham-O encountered the pie-plate-tossing craze at Yale. And so the flying saucer from California was renamed after the pie plate from Connecticut. Of course the name was changed from Frisbie to Frisbee to avoid any legal problems.