In the pecking order of packing materials, Bubble Wrap falls somewhere in the middle—above polystyrene peanuts, with their mess of static cling, but below environmentally friendly options like cornstarch packaging. But Bubble Wrap still reigns supreme when it comes to one thing: the delight factor that comes with finding it wrapped around shipped valuables, its air bubbles waiting to be popped. Bubble Wrap wasn’t originally intended for packaging. In 1957, New Jersey–based engineers Alfred W. Fielding and Marc Chavannes threw something at the wall—literally—and it didn’t quite stick. After sealing a set of shower curtains, they grew excited by the ensuing air bubble–filled sheets of plastic and decided to market them as of-the-moment interior decor—meaning Bubble Wrap began as wallpaper. When that venture failed, they switched to pawning it off as greenhouse insulation—which turned out to be another misstep. They This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-One Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 51 Emily Gernild The Danish painter breathing new life into an old medium. Arts & Culture Food Issue 51 Imogen Kwok The artist takes food styling quite literally, creating accessories out of fruits and vegetables. Arts & Culture Design Issue 51 How to Make a Chair And do it on a tiny budget. Arts & Culture Issue 51 Odd Jobs The comedian with strong opinions about your home décor. Arts & Culture Issue 51 Tall Order The hidden depths of height. Arts & Culture Films Issue 51 Vicky Krieps An interview with the actor.