History of the Bong - Who invented the Bong?

History of the Bong - Who invented the Bong?

History of the bong - Who invented the bong?

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Beaker Bong


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Recycler Bong


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Bong XL


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Bongs have come a long way, but really how far back do they go? Where does the term Bong come from? Do the bongs from centuries ago have an effect on the design today? These questions will be answered, and we will learn the whole story of the bong history in this article. 

What does "Bong" mean?

The term "Bong" was an adaptation of the word "Buang" which was a Thai word that mean "bamboo bong". When water was incorporated into these smoking devices the word "Bong" was used which means "water pipe" and is used to smoke cannabis.

The First Bongs

The bong did become popular during the late 60's early 70's, but recently found artifacts date bongs almost 2,500 years before that. These ancient bongs consisted of gold and were used by Scythian tribal people. There have been discoveries also in Africa that makes the earliest known bongs back to the year 1400 BC. The ancient bongs found in Ethiopia were made out of basic pottery and animal horns, whereas the ones in Russia were golden bongs made out of gold.

The Bong in Aisa and The Silk Road

The first appearance of the bong comes from Central Asia around the 16th century. The word “bong” originated from the Thai word, “buang,” which means bamboo bongs which were common in Central Asia. It is possible that the use of water in bongs was introduced during the Ming Dynasty in China, which spread due the Silk Road. Empress Dowager Cixi, was even found buried with three unique bongs during the Qing Dynasty.

The Bong in America

Bongs aka "water pipes" became popular in America due to the increasing popularity of tobacco use and smoking cannabis. This was an economic driver and the rise of the glass industry. During this time, an engineer named Bob Snodgrass made the glass bong. Later, he designed a process known as fuming, in which he would color borosilicate glass with silver and gold to create a classic aesthetic, which still persists to this day. The borosilicate glass design continues to be the standard design in bong designs today because it creates bongs that are highly resistant to heat. Glass bongs made using this technique are non-toxic, hypoallergenic, BPA-free, and lead-free. Even though the smoking culture has evolved into more vaping, glass still plays a part in the design of modern vaporizers.

The Government's Interference

The bong industry seemed strong until around the early 2000's when the US Government spent around 12 million dollars to fund a vigorous campaign to completely ban bong sales, they saw it as drug paraphernalia.  More than 50 retailers were shut down. Online vendors, which became popular because of the Internet were unfortunately shut down.  

Who Invented it?

Well, there is a lot more to that question than you might think. Due to recent discoveries that date the earliest bongs back 2400 years ago, it's hard to say who created them. But it's possible that the bong was invented in Africa or near Africa. The glass bongs or "water pipes" you see today were originally invented by Bob Snodgrass during the 1960s and 1970s. He used designs from the bongs in other countries and created healthier glass bongs which we talked about above.

The Future of Bongs

Now there is an increase in the glass bong industry, and new modern glass bongs are showing up every season.  Some consumers are moving towards more silicone bongs and some people are moving towards specially designed dab rigs.


It's crazy to think something like the ancient bong dates back 2400 years ago! We saw how bongs through time changed from clay, gold, then glass. We also learned about how bongs influenced each other into the great smoking devices they are today. It can be said that the bong has proven to be the main smoking device for centuries.

What is a Freeze Pipe bong?

Freeze Pipe is a small American-owned online smoke shop that makes a unique line of freezable bongs, dab rigs, bubblers, pipes, and more. These thick glass pieces all feature various combinations of glycerin coils, which work to cool the smoke down by over 300 degrees.

⛄ Icy smooth smoking experience that outperforms non-glycerin bongs
❄ Enjoy bigger tokes without the throat burn, coughing attacks, or water chugging
⏰ 1-hour freeze is all you need, but it's okay to freeze our glycerin chambers for longer (days, weeks, doesn't matter)
📦 Free & Discreet Shipping

Freeze Pipe - The Coldest Hits & The Smoothest Rips

We are a small American-owned online smoke shop that makes a unique line of freezable bongs, bubblers, pipes and more. These thick glass pieces all feature various combinations of glycerin coils, which work to cool smoke down by over 300 degrees.

Glycerin is a non-toxic gel-like liquid commonly found in food and sweeteners. It freezes quicker and stays frozen longer than water, not to mention it's 100% organic!

🥶 Glycerin tech cools smoke by hundreds of degrees for bigger, smoother tokes

🚫 Eliminates throat burn, chest pain and reduces coughing

⌛ 1-hour freeze is all you need. But it's okay to leave the chambers in there for longer. Days, weeks, doesn't matter