I often read about bed warmers in books and wondered what they were exactly. Then I saw some period drama and lo and behold, the mystery was solved. Thankfully we’ve moved on since then.
Again, my intentions were pure! The intent was a straight up, C for serious blog about hot water bottles and which clever clogs (as me mum used to say) invented these little marvellous body warmers.
It started off pretty well; an olde metal warmer (see middle image) – I can imagine you weren’t meant to get into bed when that was still in it. Then the image on the left caught my eye (only one of my eyes responds to silly or unusual – if it were both – you’d never get a straight reading blog out of me). All I could think was ‘what is that man doing to those poor harmless bits of rubber?!’
How did we progress to the cat lying on the rather shiny red blankie ask you? Wellllllllll…. cats are fantastic hot water bottles; they’re furry and purry, just one could probably get you all through winter, no problem (just watch out for those damnie claws though, when you try to move unannounced). Plus, I happen to like cats and this is a blog I’m writing, so the cat pic stays in. KO?
Modern day conventional hot water bottles were invented in 1903 and are manufactured in natural rubber or PVC, to a design patented by the Croatian inventor Eduard Penkala. They are now commonly covered in fabric, sometimes with a novelty design.
By the late 20th century, the use of hot water bottles had markedly declined around most of the world. Not only were homes better heated, but newer items such as electric blankets were competing with hot water bottles as a source of night-time heat. However hot water bottles continue to remain as a popular alternative in Ireland and the United Kingdom, developing countries and rural areas. For example, it is widely used in Chile, where it is called a “guatero“. There has been a recent surge in popularity in Japan where it is seen as an ecologically friendly and thrifty way to keep warm.
Some newer products function like the older bottles, but use a polymer gel or wax in a heat pad. The pads can be heated in a microwave oven, and they are marketed as safer than liquid-filled bottles or electrically-heated devices.
Take note: None of the above examples are to be confused with water boilers. AquAid’s range of water boilers are for keeping your insides warm, not your outside, see? A slight distinction, but a distinction nonetheless.
During the brrr winter months we’re now experiencing; when you ‘ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o’clock at night and lick road clean wit’ tongue before heading off to work, at least you know when you get into work, (depending on how savvy your employer is), there’s always the hot water boiler available, keeping your water at an even hot temperature of 98 °C, ready, reliable and able to ensure a constant supply of all your hot drinks . Just don’t try using the hot water boiler as a hot water bottle; if nothing else, it’s an unsightly mess to be cleaning up after.
Happy keeping warm and toasty this winter. No, you may not borrow the furry purry, get your own.