Who Invented The Electric Blanket: A Helpful History

All thanks to who invented the electric blanket, we can now save money on heating systems and stay warm during the cold winter nights.


However, there’s a bit of confusion as to who invented this product.


When it comes to the inventor of electric blankets, there are only two names that matter: Sidney Russel and George Crowley.


In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about electric blankets, and who among these two gentlemen really invented this household appliance. 


What Is The History of Electric Blankets 


The earliest form of electric blankets

The earliest electric blankets were developed around the early 1910s. However, it’s more commonly known as heated quilts or warming pads.


This first version is unlike the ones we used today. It wasn’t even popular back then because it’s large and heavy.


If you think about it, you also wouldn’t want a heavy duvet when you want to get some sleep, right?


Electric blankets were made with electrical wires enveloped with insulated metal tapes to achieve that warming effect.


The problem with the first version

Although the early electric blankets were made with good intention, there are safety hazards when using them.


It’s probably one of the reasons why it was not popular back then. Even though the inventor was an American, a British company produced and distributed it first.


It was also not intended to be a blanket that you can cover yourself up with. It was like a bed heater that you place under your bed coverings to heat your mattress.


Used in tuberculosis medical facilities

The electric blanket gained eyes and attention when medical professionals used it for patients in tuberculosis sanitariums.


As we all know, tuberculosis affects a person’s ability to breathe. These enclosed facilities were not doing it well for the patients.


Physicians advised these people to get some fresh air as often as possible, which would improve their symptoms.


So, these sanitariums would then let them out for air and sometimes even let them sleep outside.


Electric blankets helped the patients to stay warm while they got their needed fresh breeze.


Modern electric blanket

The modern electric blankets that we know today have come a long way. It offers a lot of features that weren’t even available in its early version.


Electric blankets nowadays come in different colors, sizes, and forms. 


You can have heated throw blankets or even under-bed bed coverings. In 2017, the first battery-powered electric blanket came into the market.


You can now go on road trips and campings without having to worry about freezing your feet off. 


Who Invented The Electric Blanket: Russel Or Crowley?

When you look it up online, the Internet is torn between Russel and Crowley on who is the inventor of electric blankets.


Let’s first start with the American doctor and inventor, Sidney Russel. He invented the first electric blankets in the year 1912.


It was considered to be pretty odd since it is this big and bulky bed covering. It doesn’t look like the electric blankets that we know today.


The reason why Russel invented this is to keep his patients warm.


On the other hand, George Crowley made and patented the first automatic electric blanket.


Before he was an inventor, Crowley was a naval engineer back in WW2, so he knew his way around technical projects.


He inspired electric blankets from his other invention, which is a heated suit for pilots flying at high altitudes.


At 80 years old, he invented the automatic electric blanket that we know and love today from the same fabric he used for heated flying suits. 


What Is An Electric Blanket?

When the weather is getting cold, we don’t rely on simple blankets to stay warm anymore. The use of electric blankets is now getting more popular each year.


An electric blanket is composed of complex heating wires that produce warmth to the user.


You have to plug this blanket into your nearest power outlet for it to work.


What’s also cool about this product is that you can use it to preheat your bed before jumping into sleep.


Nothing will give you this much comfortability than getting hitting the sack with a warm and cozy bed.


Most electric blankets come with remote control. You can use this to adjust how much heat you’d like to receive. 


Is It Safe To Use?

Like television, cellphones, or any other electronics, electric blankets may also pose risks when not used correctly.


We recommend you not to buy second-hand blankets because you may not know how old that heating quilt is. Remember that electronics tend to weaken over time.


It will help if you turn off your blanket every time you’re not using it. It’s important to remember that you avoid plugging your blanket into an extension.


Don’t let it compete for electricity with other appliances, which can result in short circuits.


Although electric blankets can indeed be a fire hazard, you can prevent this from happening with the right information and guidance. 



Regardless of who invented the electric blanket, it’s essential that we know how to use it right to avoid accidents or health issues.


These heated blankets have come a long way from heavy and often uncomfortable duvets to automatic quilts where you can even adjust the heat to your liking.


Stay toasty and cozy with electric blankets!