Historic Tools of North Castle

Hot Water Bottles (2)

These items at Smith’s Tavern are hot water bottles:  one of copper (T2) and the other of pewter (T31).

A hot-water bottle is a bottle filled with hot water and sealed with a stopper, used to provide warmth, typically while in bed, but also for the application of heat to a specific part of the body.  Prior to the invention of rubber that could withstand sufficient heat, early hot-water bottles were made of a variety of materials, such as zinc, copper, brass, glass, pewter, earthenware or wood.  To prevent burning, the metal hot water flasks were wrapped in a soft cloth bag.

Reference:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_water_bottle

Catalog Items:

Item T2

Location:Panel 13
Length: 34 cm
Width: 25 cm
Height: 2 cm
Weight: 896 g

The first item (T2) is made of copper and is shaped like a seat cushion, with two small rectangle handles on each side and a metal (tin or pewter) screw-type stopper near one edge.  There are no manufacturer’s markings.

Item T31

Location:Floor, Panel 12
Length: 31 cm
Width: 18 cm
Height: 6 cm
Weight: 1816 g

The second (T31) is made of pewter, an alloy of tin and lead, and is oval-shaped.  In the center is a brass screw -type stopper.  There are no manufacturer’s markings.