Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum more


Blood Drive

Monday, June 15

All appointment slots have been filled. The Museum is working with the Red Cross to set up another blood drive for later this summer. Thank you for your support!

Did you know the first blood bank in the US was in Chicago? In March 1937, Dr. Bernard Fantus opened a blood preservation laboratory at Cook County Hospital, and in 1939, Baxter Laboratories in the north suburbs invented the “Transfuso-Vac,” a device that allowed blood to be stored for up to 21 days.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, blood donation has become more crucial than ever, and the Chicago History Museum is honored to partner with the American Red Cross for this vital cause. Blood is a perishable product that can come only from volunteer blood donors. With someone in the US needing blood every two seconds, blood products must be constantly replenished.

Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, A negative, and B negative. One pint of blood can help save up to three lives and will touch the lives of so many more!

Appointments are required in order to observe social distancing. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. 



What safety measures will you be following?

We will be adhering to the following protocols:

  • Staff and volunteers will be wearing gloves and changing them often
  • Staff will be wearing basic face masks
  • Donor-touched areas will be wiped down after every collection
  • Sterile collection sets will be used for every donation
  • The arm for donation will be prepared with aseptic scrub
  • Staff will be conducting donor mini-physicals to ensure donors are healthy and well on day of donation
  • Enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for use before entering and throughout the donation appointment
  • Temperature checks before presenting donors enter the blood drive or donation center
  • Following social distancing practices between donors including donor beds, as well as waiting and refreshment areas
  • Blankets typically used by platelet, Power Red, and AB Elite donors at Red Cross blood donation centers will be laundered after each use, which may limit the availability. Donors are encouraged to bring their own blankets, but electric blankets and heating pads are not permitted.
  • For the safety of our donor community and in accordance with CDC guidelines, all donors are required to wear a face covering or mask. Please bring a face covering or mask to your donation. If you do not have one, a mask will be provided to you.
How do I make an appointment to donate blood?

There are many ways to make an appointment.

Will I be compensated for donating?

Amazon is thanking donors June 1–30 with a $5 Gift Card by email. For more information, visit

Will I be able to visit the galleries?

We’re sorry, but only the areas pertaining to the blood drive will be made accessible to the public. The Museum will reopen to visitors when state and city guidelines and building and staff readiness allow. For the most up-to-date information regarding the Museum’s status, please visit our COVID-19 information page.

Questions? Check out the American Red Cross website for more details or feel free to contact us.

    Tagged in:

Red Cross blood bank railroad car, April 4, 1952. HB-15055-C, CHM, Hedrich-Blessing Collection
Two men unloading blood from Red Cross centers off a railcar, 1953. CHM, ICHi-038762

The Details



15 th

9:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m.

Event Location

Chicago History Museum

1601 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories