Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Blowing bubbles: 1684

...and so like a company of Boys that blow Bubbles out of a Wall-nut shell, every one runs after his bubble...
--From Several tracts written by Sr Matthew Hale--

It sounds like children were taking halves of walnut shells, poking a hole in the back, dunking them in soapy water, and then blowing into the hole to create airborne soap bubbles. And it happened before 1684, because it was common enough then to be used as a simile in a religious text.

Perhaps they only used the walnut shell as a dish, of course walnut shells have a defined edge so they seem perfect for blowing bubbles in the modern sense.  Perhaps by "every one runs after" the author was speaking figuratively and not literally. Still, this seems like the best evidence for airborne bubbles I have seen so far.

No comments: