In the cold European winters, bed warmers were a welcome comfort. The pan itself was made of brass or copper, and filled with hot coals, had a long wooden handle so it could be pushed under the covers of the bed into the position of the feet. If the bed was dry, the pan had to be constantly moved so it would not scorch the sheets, but this was not always a problem as sometimes the bedding was damp. The pan assisted in drying out the bed clothes. Some warming pans had patterns marked out in piercing to the lids, which also allowed the heat to escape. Although metal and ceramic hot bottles haad been in use since the 16th century, it was the invention and subsequent widepread popularity of the rubber hot water bottle in 1903 that led to the demise of the bed warmer.
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