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Hot Water Bottles

I got my Fall 2009 Knit Picks catalog in the mail this week. Their tag line is “Passionately Committed to Affordable Luxury Knitting.” Pictured on page 15 are these very cute Hot Water Bottle Covers and they are selling a book by designer Chrissie Day with knit patterns for 30 of them! And it occurs to me … does anyone actually still use a hot water bottle?

hot-water bottle covers in knit picks catalog

hot water bottle covers in knit picks catalog

While I imagine we had at least one around the house while I was growing up, I don’t remember ever using anything but an electric heating pad. I’ve never even owned a hot water bottle and I’m in my 50s.

According to my Internet research, the hot water bottle was invented in 1903 by a Croatian, Slavoljub Eduard Penkala (Budapest, Patent No 29276). Electric heating pads were invented in 1912 by an American, S.I. Russell, to warm patients suffering from tuberculosis.

microwave heating pad

microwave heating pad

My personal favorite for at least 15 years has been this microwave heating pad that feels as though it is filled with sand. I am going to make these for gifts someday, but will have to open a seam on mine to inspect the contents. I bought it at a craft fair and it’s long and skinny and wraps cozily around the neck. I am prone to back spasms and it is great for fitting into just the right sore muscle and stays warm for a good long time.

But, back to my original thought? Does anyone still use old-fashioned hot water bottles?


3 Responses

  1. We had something red that kind of looked like a hot water bottle when we were little…..but the hazy memory I have attached to it involves an enema, so I’d rather not go there.

  2. These are great! I saw your link on my sisters blog, where she was displaying her book/hot water bottle covers (which she made me and it is wonderful!) I don’t know if you have taken apart your microwave heating bag yet, but I do know the insides I have seen in the past are barley or buckwheat. I did find a link on how to make them, though so I thought I would share it with you.


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