Webcomic: Too busy for the Shore?


A brief history of the beach ball

The invention of the inflatable beach ball is believed to be the work of Jonathon DeLonge back in 1938. DeLonge’s ordinal beach ball was small – only about the size of an adult hand. But over the years, beach balls have grown and grown to over 3 feet across. If the trend continues, expect beach balls the size of a small winnebago to be on sale in the year 2045.

DeLonge may have invented them, but the folks you really want to thank for the beach ball are Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. If it wasn’t for their string of beach movies in the 1960s, beach balls would probably be as popular today as two piece men’s bathing suits.


  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the summer as It’s a Shore Thing follows the adventures of the Featherstone family as they run the family bed and breakfast in out-of-the-way North Lower Bayheightsville.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal