Market Lavington Museum

Another hot water bottle


We have already seen a stoneware bed warmer in Market Lavington Museum’s collection. (See A Hot Water Bottle. ) But this blue item is not our only one as we have a brown bottle too.

It has been in the museum for quite a long time, but we seem to have no information about its provenance.

Although its colours are quite common for stoneware, it has a nice decorative feature around its stopper. This would have been unscrewed to fill the bottle with hot water and then the bottle was sometimes wrapped in a cloth before putting it in the bed.

These bottles were sometimes known as pigs, possibly because of the snout-like carrying knob at one end. It has a large, flat base to rest on in the bed. Some people used to stand their bottles up on the D shaped flat base opposite the knob. This enabled the bedding to be held up like a tent, while the heat from the bottle warmed the air around it, before the the bed was occupied.

Rubber hot water bottles were invented in 1903, but many people would have used the stoneware ones well into the early twentieth century.