Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Comfort blanket

It's the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness... oh, and getting the electric blanket checked. This is the time of year when safety officials set up events to check blankets - invariably finding that many of them are dodgy.

It might still seem too warm to even think about electric blankets, but give it a few months and they will be the best friend you ever had. On a cold night, in the miserable damp of a city winter, there is nothing finer than stretching out in the warm nest of the electric blanket. It makes going to bed a moment to savour. There's that slightly singed smell and that curvaceous reassurance of the heated quilt.

It's also not widely known that electric blankets are a spin-off from wartime technology, the materials developed to keep Second World War aircrews warm in freezing unheated planes. There had been earlier versions used in TB clinics, but it was wartime that fast-forwarded their arrival as a consumer product.

They weren't cheap either. The first mass-market electric blankets, on sale in 1946, retailed at around $40.

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