Frisbee Dog, 1989
Bronze, 68 x 28 x 36 inches. Gift of Gary Merrill. 1989
Location: On the quad in front of Munroe Hall
The practice of throwing a disc in an athletic contest can be dated to the first Olympics in 776 B.C., but we can be sure that heavy piece of metal was not easy to catch. Patrick Villiers Farrow’s Frisbee Dog commemorates the evolution of an ancient sport into the game of we know today.
Five Middlebury alumni claim to have thrown the first Frisbee, a discarded pie tin from the then-popular Frisbie Pie Company, while changing a flat tire in the fall of 1939. There are several counter-versions of the game’s invention. One advanced by three Yale Law School students was apparently confirmed by Mrs. Frisbie herself; Webster’s New World Dictionary confusingly asserts that “Mother Frisbie’s cookie jars were originally used for the game by Princeton students.”
We may never know who threw the first Frisbee pie tin, but we can be sure that Farrow drew his inspiration from the Middlebury students who continue to throw Frisbees on the lawn in front of the McCullough Student Center.
(Photo: Tad Merrick)