1947 Fred & Warren meet; Fred works for the Franscioni & Davis butane business; Fred introduces Warren to flippin’ cake pans.
1947 Pilot Ken Arnold reports nine UFOs flying by Mount Rainier. During an interview with him by Bill Bequette of United Press, Arnold states: “Well, they flew erratic, like a saucer if you skip it across the water.” Bequette, in his write-up, coins the term “Flying Saucer.” An alien craft is reported to have crashed near Roswell, NM.
1947 Fred & Warren discuss developing a plastic flying disc.
1947 PIPCO is born.
1948 A machinist is hired to turn Fred’s eight design sketches into six prototypes on his lathe. Four survive flight tests. Fred converts the best flyer into a cardboard template.
1948 On March 15, Southern California Plastic Company (SCP) in Glendale, California submits a cost proposal to PIPCO. SCP is hired to create a mold. The name “Flyin-Saucer” is added to the top. The first FS1 Saucers are produced in powder blue and black.
1948-50 Flyin-Saucers sold extensively at fairs, in a few stores, and at beaches using “invisible wire” and other sales ploys.
1948-50 Franscioni uses Fred’s Whirlo-Way drawing to support patent searches and applications.
1948-9? An attorney advises Franscioni that the Flyin-Saucer is not patentable.
1949 Hall Manufacturing develops The Sky Pie. While not a true saucer, it is an example of an early flying device.
1949 Fred and Warren meet with three Sacramento, CA businessmen who show interest in the Flyin-Saucers.
1950 Fred and Warren part company. (February)
1950 Franscioni begins negotiations on a deal with (Al) Capp Enterprises for a “Li’l Abner” promotional tie-in. SCP alters the mold to provide a flat area on top for labels. Five thousand (FS2) discs are produced. The Capp organization develops printed paper inserts. The deal is called off (presumably when PIPCO adds unauthorized stickers to the discs) and Capp threatens to sue.
1950 Franscioni engages Franz & Rothrock of San Francisco for additional financial and promotional support.
1950 PIPCO is incorporated and dissolved sometime between mid-1950 and early-1953.
1950 Franscioni applies for a utility patent (serial #24,356) sometime before November.
1950 Teller Hall files for a patent on the Sky Pie on December 15, 1950, and receives patent number 2,690,339 on September 28, 1954.
1951 Franscioni drives trucks for a while, then re-enlists in the Air Force, abandoning all Saucer promotions.
1951 Franscioni’s patent application #24,356 is rejected by the Patent Office March 12.
1952 Patent application #24,356 appeals time expires; application is abandoned by the Patent Office.
1952 Fred and Lu move to San Dimas, California, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles.
1953 Ernest “Bill” Robes develops and sells the first version of the Space Saucer at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire without any prior knowledge of the Flyin-Saucer. He does not patent his design.
1953 SCP contacts Franscioni to reacquire the Flyin-Saucer mold (September).
1953-4 SCP slightly alters the mold, uses polyethylene for the first time, and begins to market Flyin Saucers (no hyphen) on their own, paying Franscioni commissions.