ON THE BUBBLE (1954 – 1999)

1957 Coleman Steel Cooler 

1969 Coleman Picnic Cooler 

Early Steel Jug  

In 1954, if you had a cooler it was made of steel. The old steel ice bins, or “picnic chests” as there were called, would sweat, rust, and were generally inefficient. Three years later, a Coleman engineer saw a child blowing soap bubbles, and came up with the concept that is basically the same process used today for insulated coolers. A plastic “bubble” could be formed out of heated sheet plastic, and then molded into the shape that is needed for the cooler, and finally is snapped into place. The product revolutionized the Cooler industry in 1957, and the cooler that Coleman manufactured as a result of this groundbreaking process is lighter and more efficient, and easier to clean than any cooler made to this date. This is basically the same process that has been used ever since.

In the decades that have followed, The Coleman Company adapted to the changes and trends in the business of outdoor recreation. We added tents and sleeping bags to our outdoor line in 1962. Coleman facilities spread across not only the country but also went international in the years that followed to meet the supply for our high quality outdoor products. Coleman® battery lighting hit the market in the ‘80s, and the Coleman Company scaled new manufacturing heights by producing over 15 million products a year. The ‘90s see an even more comprehensive catalog of products sporting the distinctive Coleman logo, such as camping furniture and accessories, along with award-winning backpacking stoves with innovative fuel systems.

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