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What Is the History of the Bong?

Bongs. Bubblers. Water Bongs. Whatever you name them, chances are good that a bong is hidden away in a nearby cabinet if you happen to be a cannabis fan. Before Marvin Gaye and The Carpenters ruled the music world in the early 1970s, crafty stoners created bongs out of just about everything they can get their fingers on.

From liquor bottles with spring carbs, to fancy thousand-dollar glass setups, the bong is not just a smoking apparatus. They have become a work of art and a showpiece to many proud stoners today. However, bongs have been around for millennia. And it would be a little understatement to suggest that this history offers a fascinating look into human culture and civilization.


Who Created the Original Bong?

It was a common misconception up until a little more than ten years ago that the first water filtration pipe, often known as a bong, came from Africa. Actually, if you dig a little further into who invented the bong, there are many interesting contributors.

For a few decades, scholars had been gifted with exquisitely preserved bongs from archaeological discoveries throughout the southern as well as eastern parts of the continent, with these artifacts dated to roughly 1100 AD.

The African idea, however, was disproved in 2013 when Russian archaeologists made a shocking discovery that they had not at all anticipated. The earliest bong specimen yet discovered was discovered while meticulously excavating a Scythian burial mound.

The oldest bong is how old?

This discovery extended the age of the first bong by many decades or maybe several centuries.

Actually, it seems that these Scythian pipes were made around four centuries before Jesus was born.

What Materials Did These Bongs Originally Contain?

The Scythians (https://www.britishmuseum.org/blog/introducing-scythians) had been a nomadic race that placed a high value on conquest and plundering. But do not mistake them for a group of wandering gypsies making a pitiful living in a difficult area. Consider them more like Vikings on horses.

For more than a thousand years, the Scythians dominated large portions of eastern Asia and Europe, and with that authority came unimaginable wealth. There are quite a few sources we may consult when trying to determine exactly how this tribe lived, despite the fact that there is essentially no personal written history of them.

One is the genuine grandeur that can be seen in these tomb mounds. Scythian funerals were lavish affairs, bursting with gold ornaments. The same also applies to their tools and crafts. It should come as no surprise that the two bongs discovered during this dig were both made of pure gold.

They were not only constructed using the highest-quality materials at the time, but they were further adorned in breathtaking representations of Scythian life. We may suppose that the earliest bongs were probably not made from pure gold, but rather were developed from clay and wood braziers, which have also been discovered at Scythian archeological sites.

The Recent History of Bongs

We must consider the Vietnam War in order to properly examine bongs in the present day. Thailand served as the key strategic base for Western forces as well as a place for the troops to unwind and recover.

American soldiers initially came across rattan bongs that were utilized by locals to inhale premium Thai Stick cannabis in Thailand. Click here to learn more about Thailand. These bongs were transported back towards the west by the departing soldiers, and it did not take long for them to start appearing everywhere.

The fact that the name “bong” is directly derived via the Thai word “buong” only serves to highlight how important the boom was on cannabis culture in the west.


When Did Glass Bongs First Become Popular?

In the 1970s, bongs became popular, and glass bongs quickly followed, owing to a few ambitious people who like to experiment. Nearly simultaneously with the popularity of its bamboo counterparts, glass bongs began to appear.

At the time, glass manufacture was experiencing a boom, and American glass lampworker Bob Snodgrass saw the material’s potential for usage in bongs and pipes. This was paired with his unintentional revelation of color-changing glass, and which only served to increase public interest in the concept of glass smoke pieces.

Even though Bob is not credited with creating the first glassware bong, he is the one who mistakenly introduced them to the general public. As a wandering deadhead (a superfan of the group The Grateful Dead), Bob had access to an endless supply of clients, and his unique glass bongs swiftly rose to the top of the market.

Issues with Bongs in the Law

Manufacturers and bong fans have not always had it easy. The proposed Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, which was passed in 2003, essentially rendered bongs and the tools used to make them illegal throughout the United States.

Due to their usage in inhaling illicit narcotics, bongs found themselves in the crossfire of a legislation intended to target the production and distribution of crystal meth.

Online bong purchases are now legal, but you should still be cautious about what you purchase and where you get it. Before buying a bong, make careful verifying your local regulations since they may still be in effect in some areas.

Bongs Continuing

As a result of the global movement toward cannabis for both recreational and medical purposes, the poor image they held with society is starting to fade. The past ten years or so have witnessed a healthy return of bongs, which were formerly seen to be a sign that someone did not truly have their life together.

Today’s bongs are available in a wide range of sizes and designs and are constructed from practically every material known to man. Innovative stoners have long enjoyed experimenting with various bong configurations, from the absurd to the absolutely exquisite.

The range of bongs is genuinely endless and includes gravity bongs, bongs built from various fruits, clandestine bongs that seem like everyday goods, and much more. But that list only keeps expanding in this strange new world with cannabis legalization.


Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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