Use in SanitariumsIn 1921, electric blankets started receiving more attention after being regularly used in tuberculosis sanitariums. Tuberculosis patents were routinely prescribed lots of fresh air, which included sleeping outdoors. The blankets were used to keep the patients warm. When any product comes to public attention, attempts to improve design begins and the electric blanket was no exception.
Thermostat ControlIn 1936, the first automatic, electric blanket was invented. It had a separate thermostat control which automatically turned on and off, in response to room temperature. The thermostat also served as a safety device, turning off if hot spots in the blanket occurred. Later, thermostats were wired into the blankets and multiple thermostats were used. This basic design remained until 1984, when thermostats-free electric blankets were introduced.
Warming Pads & Heated QuiltsThe term "electric blanket" was not used until the 1950s, blankets used to be called "warming pads" or "heated quilts"
Today's electric blankets can respond to both room and body temperatures. The blankets can even send more heat to your cold feet and less to your hot head (that is if you cover your head with the blanket.)
I am still researching the following:
- That in 1946 the first automatic electric blanket went on sale in the US for $39.50, in Petersburg, Virginia.
- And that an inventor called S. I. Russell patented an electric blanket and some consider him the inventor of the electric blanket.