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Bed warming bag, London, England, 1900-1925

The makers of this novel device claimed it could provide constant heat and warmth for 24 hours. The canvas bags are filled with an ammonia compound which, when cold water is added, produce heat. The brass clips on the top of the bag were opened and two teaspoons of cold water were added through a funnel. The clips were then closed and the bag shaken for one minute. The canvas bag was then placed in the rubber bag. The ammonia compound probably smelt horrible. The bag was used to provide heat to a specific area of the body to relieve pain or to warm up beds. The devils on the packaging hint to the customer that the bag will stay hot and are probably an allusion to Hell!

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    Glossary: nursing

    The study and practice of caring for and waiting on the sick, injured, or others unable to look after themselves or to deal with their specific medical needs.

    Glossary: warming bag

    System of bags to provide heat and warmth, often used in hospitals. Two teaspoons of water were added to a canvas refill bag which in turn was placed inside another canvas bag. The exothermic reaction that took place between the chemicals in the bag and the water kept the bed warm for 24 hours.