In keeping with yesterday's post on nostalgia, today I should like to celebrate a household electrical appliance that is older than I am and still fully functional - the Buggrit.
The Buggrit, or, to give it its proper name, the Belling Bed warmer, consists of two steel dishes that clamp together housing a standard fitting for a 40W light bulb. The design was developed in the 1930s as a way to heat up a cold bed before you got in - an updated version, if you will, of the ember-filled copper warming-pans of the Tavern's eighteenth-century namesake.
Our version is the fetching Germolene pink pictured above - though in its 1950's heyday it came in a variety of pastel colours - and was a much-appreciated asset in a household with no central heating; you simply plug it in and place it between the sheets well before bed-time, where it generates an impressive amount of heat.
There is, however, a significant drawback to this ingenious invention (particularly if your family, who have never believed in doing things by halves, have substituted a 60W bulb for the 40W one intended). It was many years before I realised that Buggrit was not, in fact, its official designation, the name having passed into family usage thanks to the rantings of the unfortunate guest who leapt into bed on a chilly night without removing the thing first.
Doubtless Health and Safety would have much to say about the bed warmer, and electric blankets and central heating - not to mention low-energy bulbs - have made it all but obsolete, but the simplicity of its design and fitness for purpose, as well as the fact it still works perfectly after 50 years, is something I consider worth celebrating.
Ladies and gentlemen, raise your glasses to - the Buggrit!
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