Let’s start from the beginning, as always, to talk about a product that has reached the peak of its notoriety in the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s: the water mattress. Perhaps very few of you will know that the water mattress (like the air mattress) was invented and patented in the nineteenth century; to be precise the water mattress was invented back in 1873.
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In the heart of the industrial revolution:
The nineteenth century was characterized by Colonialism and the Industrial Revolution, in this period of time, there has been an impressive technological and industrial development, which pushes most to call it Steam-Era (the era of steam). In fact, almost all the mechanical systems were steam-powered, from the ships that sailed the oceans far and wide, to the trains that crossed the continents on the rails.
Mechanical and chemical engineering make great strides and with them also medicine. The superpower of the time is the British Empire of Queen Victoria, on which “the sun never sets” and London is its capital, the fulcrum of the ongoing world turmoil.
In this period an immense quantity of patents is registered, many are the inventors, the engineers and the doctors who gave their contribution to science.
The “first” water mattress of the modern era:
Dr. Arnott’s waterbed was specifically designed to prevent bedsores from bed sores. It was composed of a wooden water tank, covered with a rubberized cloth covering, on which a lighter lining was placed. Not having filed his patent, this was quickly copied. Many began to build similar water mattresses so that some products today recall the same technique.
After its diffusion, the water mattress was presented and proposed for long-term patients also by the well-known English doctor and baronet, Sir James Paget, in 1873. Dr. Neil Arnott died in March of the following year, perhaps cheered by the success that his invention had found…
In the ancient era:
However, Arnot had not disclosed anything new about the water mattress. The use of sheep or goatskins filled with water and used as a mattress is assumed to have been known in ancient Persia, more than 6000 years ago.