The First Insulin Pump

The Evolution of Pumps

The prototype of the first pump that delivered glucagon as well as insulin, backpack style, was in the early '60s.

Most of today’s pumps are about the size of a 3/4" stack of business cards.

Hehe. I knew a guy at summer camp in 1979 who had one. It was the size of one of the old cassette players of that time - the kind they had at school. I was little so my memory is a little foggy, but I think he usually wore his in kind of a satchel thing that he wore across his body the way folks often wear messenger bags today. I remember his name was Robert. I heard sometime in the early-mid 80’s that he had died. I don’t know why he had a pump in the first place, but I figured he had a lot of medical issues in order to have it.

Wow,Richard, I can hear the questions now…so…what’s that on your back? Oh so you are on an insulin pump…you must have diabetes bad…lol

This is the common pic of an early Insulin Pump:

Wow…I’m glad I didn’t get pregnant in 1978…I went on the pump in 1983 when I became pregnant. It was a minimed and they called it the blue brick. It weighed 3 pounds. …I guess that is nothing compared to a backpack!

That picture is actually from the 60’s. I knew a dude in '79 with a pump and it was very similar to the one below, although this model is from 1980. The specs on this one are 3.4" x 6.3" x 1", 9.6 oz, so it was way smaller than that other, but still pretty sizable compared to today’s pumps.