man with smoke in his mouth

The History Of Bongs

Bongs have changed a lot over the course of history – there’s a lot of impressive and increasingly more advanced options on the market. There are many different options; from complex glass designs, new silicone bongs, or foldable options you can take with you on the go, there’s something suitable for almost every person, no matter what their preference. Despite all the new types of pipes on the market using different materials, early versions were made from glass.

So how long has glass been around? Many history buffs think that it was created for the first time by tools from the Mesopotamia period between 2500 and 1500 BCE. The Mesopotamian’s would create jewellery and beautiful beads with glass.

The beginning of glass

Techniques to blow glass were improved upon in Ancient Rome. Romans would use a special technique known as to create intricate designs on beads and ceramics. These techniques were lost but later recovered in the 19th century. The techniques were responsible for the creation of the styles that we see on modern day bongs.  

Early designs

Dry herbs used for smoking date back to thousands of years ago, there has been confirmations of their use in Central Asia and Africa. Recent explorations around Russia have shown that the leaders of local tribes in the area used to smoke out of golden bongs, this would have been almost 2400 years ago; there were bongs found on the sites that were reportedly from about 1100 and 14000 CE. Most of them were made using animal parts and early forms of property, there were eleven in total found.

Central Asia

The first written works about water pipes are from the Central area of Asia and were created early on around the time of the 1500s. The expression for bongs is thought to have begun around countries like Thailand – where the locals would often talk about the pipes made from natural materials from their local area. There is a hypothesis that water first began to be routinely used in feudal era China. Their strategy for using water in all likelihood got spread down the Silk Road.

Pipes made from water came into normal use along the Silk Road over the course of many years, particularly after tobacco turned into a major thing on the road and began to make loads of money after Europeans settled in America. The glass business started to grow around this time because of the fame and popularity of glass in homes for use in things like lampshades and windows. The glass pipe kept on developing in the twentieth century when it became popular in the 1960s for use in everyday household items.

Modern day

The grandfather of the bongs that we know and love today first began creating modern design in the United States whilst following a band touring. He later settled down in Oregan and took on an apprentice on to learn the craft. He later took on many more people to learn his teachings. Together they realised that a process known as fuming, which uses gold and silver on borosilicate, would create beautiful patterns and they began to develop the modern industry. By the 1990s bongs had become very popular and there were many head shops but the government eventually cracked down. 

Now with more and more changes and decriminalisation the industry is started to innovate more than ever and there are now many impressive options on the market to choose from. More options are popping up all the time, with consumers making the shift towards new materials such as silicones which are more portable and don’t shatter.