Nearly six decades ago, Don Featherstone changed the face of American suburbia with a small, plastic-molded pink bird. It has graced lawns from California to New York, and countless yards in between. The birds have been the butt of jokes and a “flagrant totem of suburban satisfaction,” as the New York Times put it.
Featherstone, a sculptor, passed away Monday at the age of 79, but his genius invention remains. He created the iconic yard object in 1957, shortly after he graduated from art school. He was simply following the latest and greatest trend: plastics. After he graduated from the school of the Worcester Art Museum, he took a job with Union Products, which made a variety of plastic lawn ornaments.
The pink flamingo was his second assignment at the company, following his creation of a plastic lawn duck, which never quite earned the same ubiquitous placement. It sold…
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