Memory Foam History

Published: 12th January 2010
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When you hear the word memory foam, you might think of a revolutionary new material used to construct many items today. Specifically images of the memory foam mattress may come to mind. In reality you might be surprised to learn that memory foam has been used for many years but for a very different purpose.

The year of 1966 is considered the birthday when the concept of memory foam was born. Then the material was a brain child of NASA. They sought to find a way in which to increase the safety of aircraft cushion. Specially, they wanted to lessen the impact at take-off for their astronauts. The prototype material created by NASA for this purpose was named Temper Foam. The material was able to reduce pressure points placed upon the body. This helped lessen the impact from g-forces placed upon astronauts upon take-off. However, the material was utilized on NASA spacecraft for a very short time. Temper form was not able to last long and began breaking down after being only used a year or so. NASA abandoned the project. Patents for this material were however retained.

Many years later, a man by the name of Charles Yost formed his own company. Yost wanted to make the temper foam more readily available to consumers rather than just NASA. Yost had been on the NASA team that designed the material. He requested NASA's backing and they agreed to allow him to produce the material. These early forms of the material were used by consumers for padding items such as sport equipment and medical equipment. As time went on, the uses for the material grew. Eventually, NASA saw its benefits for many. They did forgo their patent on the material in the 1980's. This paved the road for companies to begin using the material for their designated products. It wasn't until about 10 years later that mattresses made from memory foam were produced. Hospitals first used them when they needed to lessen the pain of their patients. When the many benefits of the mattress were realized, they began being used by consumers.
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