June 9, 2016 Melissa Bauman


Welcome back to #THROWBACKTHURSDAY! We love this series because every Thursday we take a trip down memory lane and visit the history of Urgent Care for Kids, healthcare, and other fun things. Hop into our time machine and let’s go!

Today we are looking at the history of ICE PACKS! When you get hurt, it is a known fact that putting an ice pack on the injury will help reduce swelling, but do you know why? Well, the cold slows blood from flowing so quickly to the spot of the injury, therefore reducing pain and swelling!

According to Joanna Radin, a medical historian from Yale, the use of cold for therapy evolved in 3 stages:

  1. Natural Ice in the 19th century: Ice has always been around. But the discovery that ice can be used to reduce pain from injury happened in the 19th century. During war, ice and snow would be used to numb soldiers before field amputations.
  2. Manufactured Ice in the 1890s-1950: People were storing ice in their refrigerators at home and began experimenting with substitutes for natural ice.
  3. Chemical Cold from 1950 to present: In 1959, Albert A. Robbins patented a cold pack and it was intended for keeping food and drinks temporarily cold. In 1971, Jacob Spencer, a pharmacist and sales representative for Pfizer patented for the first versitile pack. Unlike the one created in 1950, it was designed to conform to the body and it was reusable.

Spencer is responsible for the peacock blue color that you see often today!


Click here to learn more about the History of Ice Packs!


Urgent Care for Kids is the largest pediatric urgent care chain in Texas, serving families in the greater Austin, DFW, and Houston areas. Our goal is to provide every patient with the highest quality medical care and superior customer service at a time and location that is convenient to working parents. We accept all major commercial insurance plans and all Texas Medicaid and CHIP plans in order to best serve our patients and their families. To learn more about our locations, hours, and services we provide, please visit our website.


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