The Electric Blanket

October 9th Celebrates The Electric Blanket

Today on “Days to Remember” we celebrate how on October 9th 1946, the first went on sale in Petersburg Virginia.

What would do without our electrical blanket?

One thing for sure, it beats having a bunch of blankets on your bed, and if you left your bed, you could always coming back to warm bed, but how did the electrical blanket warm into our hearts?

The first electric blanket was invented in 1912 by American physician Sidney I. Russell. This earliest form of an electric blanket was an ‘underblanket’ under the bed that covered and heated from below.

There is some dispute about when the first electric overblankets were introduced.

The first recorded publication of such a unit was in 1930 by Samson United Corporation.

However, others claim it was later in 1937 that electric ‘overblankets’, which lie on top of the sleeping person, were introduced in the United States.

Much like heating pads, electric blankets use an insulated wire or heating element inserted into a fabric that heats when it is plugged in. The temperature control unit, located between the blanket and the electrical outlet, manages the amount of current entering into the heat elements in the blanket.

Some modern electric blankets use carbon fiber wires to heat the user. These wires are far less bulky and conspicuous than older heating wires. Carbon fiber wires are also used as the heating element in many high-end heated car seats.

Blankets can be purchased with rheostats that regulate the heat by managing body heat and blanket temperatures, ensuring a comfortable experience.

Newer electric blankets have a shutoff mechanism to prevent the blanket from overheating or catching fire. Older blankets (prior to about 2001) may not have a shut-off mechanism; users run the risk of overheating. Older blankets are considered fire hazards.

Some electric blankets work on a low voltage of 12 to 24 volts, including those which plug into ordinary household electrical outlets; in the US, such blankets are sold by Soft Heat, Serta, and Select Comfort.

Such blankets also include 12-volt blankets designed for in-car use; they tend to shut off automatically every 45 minutes or so.

Additionally, there are concerns that electromagnetic radiation from electric blankets may cause illnesses. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these concerns.

Lastly, as with any source of heat over the groin, use of electric blankets can reduce fertility in men.

As we turn on our electrical blanket today on the heat setting of October 9th 1946, we cozy up to how the electrical blanket went on sale today!

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


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