Then & Now: A History of Ice Coolers

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Krrb — Ice Coolers from Then to Now

Photo: Fastcompany.com

Summer is heating up and as we make our break for the beaches and parks, you’ll need plenty of frosty beverages to keep you and your family cool. Before you pick up a cheap, disposable styrofoam cooler that always ends up leaking, think about investing in a quality cooler. Since before the 1950’s when the first portable ice chest was patented, cooler technology has come a long way. From vintage steel ice chests to plastic ride-on coolers, there is no doubt that a cooler exists for your needs. Keep on reading to learn about the interesting history of ice coolers that you can’t wait to share at your next summer excursion.

Igloo Metal Water Cooler

Krrb — Ice Coolers from Then to Now

Photo: Igloocoolers.com

It’s hard to imagine an Igloo cooler without a hard plastic case, but the very first Igloo coolers were actually made of metal. Created to replace the old wooden drinking buckets used by construction and oil field workers, the Igloo metal coolers were a welcome sight in 1947. Eighteen years later, Igloo rolled out the insulated, all plastic cooler now synonymous with their namesake.

Coleman Insulated Plastic Cooler

Krrb — Ice Coolers from Then to Now

Photo: Bisoncoolers.com

Coleman, the company that popularized the term “cooler,” improved upon Richard Laramy’s original 1951 patent by incorporating a galvanized exterior. Soon after, a coleman engineer created an all-plastic cooler with an encased bubble of air acting as insulation. These lighter and easier-to-clean coolers went into mass-production and revolutionized cooler history.

Yeti Roto-Molded Cooler

Krrb — Ice Coolers from Then to Now

Photo: Fishwire.net

Small tweaks were made from the original insulated plastic design over the years that resulted in the Yeti Tundra model. Based off whitewater kayaks, Yeti coolers are constructed without seams, feature thick walls pressure-filled with polyurethane foam, and rustproof aluminum hinges. Sure, the price may seem costly, but with Yeti coolers, you definitely get what you pay for.

Kreweser All-Terrain Cooler

Krrb — Ice Coolers from Then to Now

Photo: Psfk.com

Don’t feel like walking? The Kreweser company brought wheels and a motor to the plastic cooler. Running on a 48 volt battery, this cooler trike can go as far as 17 miles or as as fast as 18mph on a full charge. The actual cooler can hold up to 96 cans of beer with the top lid doubling as the seat. They even offer custom image wrapping and marine-grade speakers for those that like to ride in style.

Coolest All-In-One Cooler

Krrb — Ice Coolers from Then to Now

Photo: Cupoftechs.com

The Coolest cooler made history by being the most pledged Kickstarter of all time with over 13 million dollars pledged by 62,000 financial backers. This all-inclusive cooler has a built-in blender, USB charger, bluetooth speaker, cutting board, kitchen utensils, storage area, interior lights, gear ties and a bottle opener. The people have spoken and the cooler of the future brings the comfort of the indoors, outside!

What kind of cooler do you use? Let us know in the comments!