The History of Vaporizing
What exactly is Vaporizing?
Vaporizing is a technique that has been around for a millennia. It is the practice of using heat at certain temperatures to vaporize and dissipate certain compounds and materials without combustion. This is a much cleaner and nicer way to consume different compounds and materials, whether it be tobacco, cannabis, nicotine, herbs or essential oils. It is considered a much healthier way to inhale substances due to the material not combusting and producing smoke, which is harmful to the lungs and throat, but instead producing a non-irritating and cool vapor that is much nicer and less irritating to your throat and lungs. This technique was used by ancient cultures where they would heat up stones to vaporize certain compounds and materials, mainly different herbs and essential oils used for holistic healing and spiritual practices
The First Vaporizing Device:
Many consider the invention of the Hookah, or Shisha; dating back 1500 years and created by a man named Irfan Shiekh of the Mughal Empire (Now Afghanistan) as the first real vaporizing device. When used properly, and the materials or compounds heated at a certain temperature, a Hookah generates a vapor that is then filtered through a water chamber. However, due to their design, it is very easy for materials to combust when using a Hookah or Shisha as there is no real control over how much heat is applied to the materials, therefore combustion takes place more easily and smoke is released rather than vapor.
Modern Day Devices:
It wasn't until 1927 when a man named Joseph Robinson came up with the first idea of a Mechanical Butane ignition Vaporizing device, which he then had a patent approved by the USPTO for his invention. Although it is unclear why Robinson's idea never took off until the 1960's when a Korean man named Herbert A. Gilbert came up with his own design that eventually gave rise to the electronic cigarette, he still owns the first ever patents made for nicotine vaporizers. Some say that Robinson was robbed of his idea. Whether or not this is true we must still give credit and thanks to both him and Gilbert for their brilliant inventions that gave rise to the electronic cigarette device.
It is said that Mr Gilbert's blueprint for the electronic cigarette is what modern day e-cigarettes are based from, however, it wasn't until 2003 when a Chinese pharmacist named Hon Lik created the modern day electronic cigarette design we use today.
Before Hon Lik's design for the electronic cigarette hit the market in the 2000's, vaporizers were most commonly used for dry herbs such as cannabis. A man named Bill Eagle from Amsterdam popularized the use of vaporizers for cannabis in the early 90's. Taking a large following in the cannabis community, for the next decade he was a favored exhibit at the Sensi Seed Banks "Hash Museum" in Amsterdam. Attracting visitors from all over the world, Bill Eagle was given the chance to turn the world on to vaporization with his new technology.
Since Hon Lik's design hit the market in 2004 the use of e-cigarettes has increased exponentially. The current estimate to date of how much the industry is worth is around $4 billion and is estimated to increase exponentially as the vaping community grows worldwide.
In conclusion, the history of vaporizers is somewhat controversial, however, technically a Hookah/Shisha serves as the benchmark for the oldest vaporizing device, in my opinion. Irfan Shiekh, Robinson, Gilbert, Bill Eagle and Hon Lik will always be considered pioneers of the vaporizing world.
Whatever you choose to believe, one thing is for sure, vaporizers are here to stay and are more popular than ever!