The use of blood and intravenous fluid therapy is now considered routine therapy. The level of sophistication that we now perceive as standard has resulted from centuries of legends, religious beliefs, pseudo-science, non-scientific supposition, experimentation and error. The purpose of this article is to review the evolution of parenteral fluid and transfusion therapy through history. Data were collected via online search through the medical literature (ovid-medline), historical journals, medical history books as well as visits to historical medical libraries. We express our appreciation and gratitude to the hundreds of scientists whose work has allowed us to practice medicine, as we know it.