A Special Hot-Water Bottle – The Ear Warmer by Rüsch

There are many different types of hot water bottles: made of plastic or natural rubber, with covers made of wool or fur. In earlier times, people even placed stones heated over the fire on aching stomachs.

Less well known are hot water bottles for cold or inflamed ears. In the local Ortsmuseum Schmitten in the Albula Valley such an item, dating from the early 20st century, can be found. The ear warmer consists of a rubber tube with a screw cap and flaps. The tube can be filled with hot water, the flaps make it comfortable to wear: the ear warmer can be tied to the head, cap or hat using the flaps.

Is the ear warmer an invention typical of Graubünden? After all, one’s ears can easily become cold in the mountains. No, a stamp reveals. The ear warmer was produced by the Rüsch company – which was based near Stuttgart. On a side note, the factory specialised in soft rubber goods and elastic surgical instru-ments. Anyone who simply needed an ear warmer from Rüsch would therefore have been glad: other Rüsch products included catheters and rectal tubes.

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