Where vaping began, the birth of a new age…
Vaping sure has come a long way since the beginning; but how did we get here? It all started in 1963 but it took years to gain the attraction it has today.
Herbert A. Gilbert | The First Patent | 1963
Photo Credit: Google Patents
The first trace of an electronic cigarette was patented in 1963 by Herbert A. Gilbert from Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Gilbert’s goal when deciding to invent the “Smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” was to create an alternative to the need for combustion. According to an interview by James Dunworth, “Using logic, I had to find a way to replace burning tobacco and paper with heated, moist, flavored air,” said Gilbert.
While the invention was far beyond the technology available at that time, Gilbert had a hard time finding a manufacturer to develop his idea, and when one was found, the company decided not to create it and his patent expired.
Even though Gilbert’s patent of the first e-cigarette was never put into production, his idea had many similarities to some of the first generation devices, like flavor cartridges and heating elements.
Hon Lik | The First E-cigarette | 2001-2006
Photo Credit: Senior Screen
In 2003, nearly 40 years after the patent from Herbert A. Gilbert, a medical researcher from China by the name of Hon Lik came up with the idea to use an ultrasound emitting element to vaporize liquid which contained nicotine. To compare this to the devices of today, instead of using a battery-powered heating element Lik’s device used the electricity of the battery to heat the liquid.
The device created by Hon Lik was the first e-cigarette to be produced in 2004 and finally hit world markets in 2005-2006. The devices used nowadays are simpler than the device that Hon Lik invented. The patent created by Lik was for the 3 part devices, commonly referred to as “Cigalike’s.”
Umer and Tariq Sheikh | Cartomizer | 2007-2008
Umer and Tariq Sheikh, two British entrepreneurs invented the cartomizer, a heating coil combined with the liquid chamber also known as an atomizer. The invention of the cartomizer is really where things began to take off. The patent sold for what is now the Gamucci Brand, known as the first European electronic cigarette. The cartomizer looks like the end of a cigalike, but unlike a cigalike, the cartomizer can be filled with the vaper’s e-liquid of choice.
Mechanical Mods and Ego Style Batteries | 2009-2010
First Ego Batteries First Mechanical Mods
Photo Credit: Cave Com
Between 2009-2010, devices slowly began to change and not look so “cigarette” like. The invention of the first mechanical mod is credited to a father-son duo who went by the names of Trog and Mrog. They initially turned a flashlight into a mod that eventually came about as the ScrewDriver Mod. Ego style batteries also started to gain popularity because the battery life was longer. These took off slowly because people just didn’t know how to take to the larger size.
Clearomizer | 2011
Photo Credit: Vapegrl
Clearomizers were what followed the invention of the cartomizer. The difference in clearomizers is the style of wicking. These contained a wicking material that hung down from the top of the tank and relied on capillary action to bring the e-liquid to the coil. The first generation clearomizers were only disposable which was a downside.
Variable Voltage Devices | 2011
Photo Credit: Vaping Guides
In 2011 there were a lot of small mechanical mod creators but this was when more advanced devices like the first version of the Lava Tube by Volcano. The variable voltage was a game changer for vapers wanting more out of their devices.
Cartomizer Tanks | December 2011
Photo Credit: Volcano E-cigs
Then the cartomizer tanks came out, and vapers were able to have the same e-juice, without having to refill after every few puffs. At the same time the cartomizer was developing, batteries were also being designed to increase battery life and offer different appearances and functions to your vape.
Stay Tuned for Evolution of Vaping Part II where discuss what really put vaping on the back after cartomizers.