Don Featherstone, Inventor of the Pink Flamingo (in Plastic), Dies at 79 - The New York Times
To sculpt his first assignment, a three-dimensional duck, Mr. Featherstone went out and bought a live one, keeping it tenderly in the sink as he copied it before releasing it in a local park.
His next assignment was a flamingo. These proved harder to come by. Working from photographs in National Geographic, he created a three-foot-high creature, typically sold as one of a pair: one bird upright, the other head down, as if grazing.
With its insouciant stance and saturated pink promise of endless summer, Mr. Featherstone’s flamingo blew his duck out of the water.
An index of its novelty that first year could be found in the Sears catalog, which offered the birds for $2.76 a pair but saw fit to include instructions: “Place in garden, lawn, to beautify landscape.”