History of bong – 2400 years of civilisation

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File this incredible story under: 2,400-Year-Old Marijuana News.

Archaeologists in southern Russia recently found nearly seven pounds of truly spectacular, well preserved and solid gold artifacts from the Scythains, a nomadic people often written about by Greek historian Herodotus. In addition to the importance of the artistic depictions on the artifacts — which included jewelry, cups and a couple bucket-shaped vessels — the scientists made another important discovery when they had criminologists test the black residue inside the bucket-shaped containers.

The results showed traces of marijuana and opium, proving that these containers are indeed ancient bongs of sorts.

From National Geographic’s excellent report:


The results came back positive for opium and cannabis, confirming a practice first reported by Herodotus. The Greek historian claimed that the Scythians used a plant to produce smoke “that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass … transported by the vapor, [they] shout aloud.”

Because the sticky residue was found on the inside of the vessels, Belinski and Gass think they were used to brew and drink a strong opium concoction, while cannabis was burning nearby. “That both drugs were being used simultaneously is beyond doubt,” said Anton Gass, an archaeologist at the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin.

Bong in newer days

The common bong or water pipe as we know them today have come along way since their initial invention. In this modern era of smoking culture it’s hard to find someone who at least doesn’t know the purpose of a bong. Used by tobacco and herb smokers worldwide, they are instantly recognizable by any avid user. A typical bong is usually made of acrylic or glass, although they come in a range of other materials as well. They are notable for their large open pipe which often leads to a water chamber with an extra inlet where the smoke can be drawn in.

bong with ice

The actual procedure of the bong is fairly straight forward. Tobacco or herb is packed into a down pipe which is a small pipe with a bowl at it’s head, where the herb is placed. This pipe is situated near the base of the bong and is drawn into the main structure of the pipe where the water sits. The purpose of this pipe is to submerge one end of the down pipe in the water, forcing any smoke to filter through the water before reaching the lungs. You can ask any smoker why they choose to use a bong and many will have different reasons, however the main overall purpose is to achieve a smoother smoke. They achieve this in various ways depending on the type of water pipe or bong you’re using. The smoke is drawn through the water, which not only helps in filtering those unwanted carcinogens and ash, it also helps in cooling the smoke. These two benefits combined ensure the smoke is much purer than the smoke of a typical smoking pipe or cigarette and is the reason more and more people are turning to these alternative smoking methods.

Glass – A brief history

The origins of primitive glass are found in the most primal of sources, volcanoes. In ancient times, man made razor-sharp arrowheads and tools from obsidian, a natural glass created by volcanic eruptions.

Glass working came from Mesopotamia around 1500 B.C.E., though glass beads have been found from as far back as 4000 B.C.E.. Hard to make, glass was made in molds at this time, mainly used in decoration and bottles for liquids.

In the late 1800’s, glass artists such as Louis Comfort Tiffany brought the art of stained and blown glass to a wider appeal, making lamps and art. Tiffany glass is still a sought after collectible.

glass fish

 The godfather of glasswork

The unquestioned godfather of modern glassblowing is a man named Bob Snodgrass. He fathered the color changing pipe making process of “fuming”, or coating the inside of the pipe with vaporized silver. He began making his glass pipes as he followed the Grateful Dead Tour.


Operation Pipedream – WTF??

Then a storm came on the horizon in 2003, as Attorney General John Ashcroft launched “Operation Pipedreams”, a 12 million dollar effort to rid America of drug paraphernalia. Targeting large suppliers, they put Tommy Chong in federal prison for nine months, even though he didn’t run the company. 54 other people got probation and fines, and it seemed that the glory days were over… They weren’t.


Lets not forget the zenpype Gadget

The portable bong pipe grider gadget, for the stoner on the go, that turns any pvc or glass bottle in to a bong.

zenpype gadget

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