Donald Featherstone, the creator of the pink plastic lawn flamingo, died on Monday at the age of 79.
Featherstone designed the unlikely pop culture icon in 1957. It was his third product designed for Union Products (of an eventual 750), with whom he took a job out of art school due to "a great fear of starving to death." He told the Leominster Champion in 2006 that for his second design, Union "asked me to work on a duck, so I went to buy a real duck to study. I named him Charlie. When I had the plastic duck done, I set him free in Cogshall Park. Then they asked me to design a flamingo." Since he couldn't buy a flamingo, Featherstone worked from National Geography photos. The rest, of course, is history.
Featherstone was married to his wife, Nancy, for 40 years, and they dressed in matching outfits that she sewed. He sounds like he was the most delightful man.
With this and the death of the inventor of the heart-shaped hot tub last month, the world of charmingly tacky home decorations has really taken a hit recently.
· Donald Featherstone, creator of plastic pink flamingo, dies aged 79 [The Guardian]
· Pretty in pink [Leominster Champion]