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The History of Hot Water Bottles

The first hot water bottles had already come into use by the early 1900s, but they were usually homemade from either brass or copper and weren’t very safe. These early hot water bottles were mostly used to warm up a bed before a person got into it (indoor heating systems didn’t yet exist). The first rubber hot water bottle was patented by Eduard Penkala in 1903. His design was made up of a simple rubber bag with a plug at the top. Warm (but not boiling) water could be poured into the rubber bag and stoppered, creating a much safer heat source. Today, hot water bottles are still in use. They are sometimes used for warmth, as they were in the early 1900s, but more often, modern hot water bottles are used for soothing aches and pains or reducing muscle tension and stress.

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