Who Invented the Bong?

A bong is a filtration device that is used for smoking various herbal substances, such as tobacco or herb. It consists of a bowl and a stem that guide the smoke through water, creating bubbles and cooling the smoke before it is inhaled. Bongs are popular among smokers who enjoy the smooth and flavorful experience they provide. But who invented the bong and when did it first appear in history?

The Origins of the Bong

The exact origins of the bong are unclear, as different cultures around the world have used similar devices for centuries. However, some of the earliest evidence of bong use comes from Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

One of the oldest examples of a bong was discovered in 2013 by Russian archaeologists who were excavating a Scythian burial mound. The Scythians were a nomadic people who ruled vast regions of Eurasia from the 9th century BC to the 4th century AD. They were known for their skills in warfare, horsemanship, and art. They were also avid consumers of herb and opium, which they smoked in gold vessels that resembled bongs. These vessels date back to around 400 BC and are decorated with intricate scenes of Scythian life.

Another ancient culture that used bongs was the Hmong, an ethnic group that lives in Laos and Thailand. The Hmong have been using bamboo water pipes for smoking herb and tobacco for centuries, and the word “bong” itself may have originated from their language. The word “bong” or “baung” means a cylindrical wooden tube or container in Thai.

In Africa, bongs have also been found in archaeological sites dating back to around 1100 AD. These bongs were made from gourds, horns, or pottery and were used by various tribes across the continent. Some of these bongs had elaborate designs and patterns, indicating their cultural significance.

The Modern Bong

The modern bong that we know today is largely influenced by the glass blowing techniques that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in America. During this time, a glass artist named Bob Snodgrass invented the glass bong by accident. He was traveling with a group of hippies and selling his glass pipes at music festivals and events. One day, he dropped a glass pipe into a bucket of water and noticed that it created bubbles when he blew into it. He realized that he had created a water pipe that could filter and cool the smoke better than a regular pipe. He began to experiment with different shapes and sizes of glass bongs, and soon became famous for his creations.

Snodgrass also pioneered the technique of fuming, which involves adding silver or gold to the glass to create color-changing effects. He also taught many other glass artists how to make bongs, spreading his knowledge and skills across the country. Snodgrass is widely regarded as the father of the modern glass bong industry, and his work is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts.

The Future of the Bong

The bong has come a long way since its ancient origins, and it continues to evolve with new technologies and innovations. Today, there are many types of bongs available on the market, such as percolator bongs, gravity bongs, ice bongs, silicone bongs, electric bongs, and more. Each type of bong offers a different smoking experience, depending on the user’s preference and budget.

Some of the latest trends in bong design include adding features such as LED lights, digital temperature control, water filtration systems, and even Bluetooth speakers. These features aim to enhance the aesthetics, functionality, and enjoyment of using a bong.

Another trend that is gaining popularity is using freeze pipes or glycerin coils to cool down the smoke even further. Freeze pipes are bongs that have a detachable chamber filled with glycerin, a non-toxic liquid that freezes quickly and stays cold for hours. When the smoke passes through the glycerin coil, it becomes icy cold and smooth, reducing harshness and irritation on the throat and lungs.


The bong is a fascinating device that has been used by humans for thousands of years to smoke herb and tobacco. It has a rich history that spans across different cultures and continents, reflecting the diversity and creativity of human society. The bong has also evolved with the times, incorporating new materials and technologies to improve its performance and appeal. The bong is more than just a smoking tool, it is a piece of art and culture that connects us with our past and present.