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July 26, 2023

Icebox on Wrist to Cool the Whole Body, 1934

In 1934, Purdue University physicists said the whole body may be kept cool during the hottest weather by a developed miniature refrigerator that straps to the wrist in the manner of a watch.

The refrigerator was somewhat larger than a wrist watch and encloses a pellet of dry ice–solid carbon dioxide. As the dry ice evaporates, it forms an invisible gas. Escaping from the case, the gas has the same effect as cold water poured over the wrists. It lowers the temperature of the blood in the arteries and this cooled blood is carried to every part of the body.

The metal case is insulated from the wrist by rubber, as the temperature of the dry ice is 109 degrees below zero and its contact with the skin would result in a severe burn. With proper insulation, however, there is no danger of this occurring. And thus the device could be worn in perfect safety.


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