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The History of Styrofoam Coolers

A research engineer named Otis McIntire created Styrofoam while trying to develop a wartime alternative to rubber. The company he worked for, Dow Chemical, patented the substance in 1944. The material went on to have many uses. The Styrofoam cooler was one of them. Invented during the postwar era, it made its debut in 1957. The new style of cooler was lighter than its metal predecessors, making it easier to transport to parks, beaches, campsites, and other places where people might want to enjoy chilled drinks or snacks. The lighter weight also made it easier to transport heavier items in the cooler, such as soda and beer, which furthered its popularity. Today, Otis McIntire is a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Styrofoam continues to be used in many applications, including the classic Styrofoam cooler that can be seen at beaches and parks all across America.

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