Back in 1949, a Rochester, New York chemist named Emanuel Goldberg developed the first plastic pipette holder. Along with three workers, he began the Nalge Company in a small building at 625 South Goodman Street.
For years Goldberg and his growing team developed the Nalgene line of state-of-the-art polyethylene laboratory equipment: centrifuge bottles, filter units, storage tanks.
Obviously, it wasn’t the kind of stuff you toss into your backpack for a weekend in the woods.
But there were rumors floating around … stories about scientists taking the smaller, more convenient bottles out of the lab and using them on hikes and excursions.
By the 1970s this “unofficial” use for Nalgene bottles caught the eye of Marsh Hyman (President of the Nalge Company in Rochester, New York).
The Boy Scout connection…
Marsh had a son who was in the Boy Scouts. He and his fellow Scouts used Nalgene lab bottles on the trail. They were perfect as water bottles; for storing powdered drinks and pancake mix; and for carrying matches and shampoo and snacks and all sorts of camping supplies. When he learned about these great new uses for his lab bottles, Marsh Hyman went to the Nalge Specialty Department with a mission: “Spread the word to outdoorspeople all over! Tell them about this new line of high-quality camping equipment.”