This is a picture of my first flask. Never owned one before and possibly never drank from one either, although my memory could be a bit foggy on that.
Anyhow I decided to look up a bit of history on the old flask and this is what I found.
1. The hip flask began to appear in the form recognized today in the 18th century, initially used by members of the gentry (snooty rich people). However, less compact versions had been in production for several centuries. Notably, in the Middle Ages (period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century), there are several accounts of gutted fruit being used to store liquor.
2. During the 18th century, women boarding docked British warships would smuggle gin into the ship via makeshift flasks, created from pig’s bladders (yuck, who’d want to drink from that?) and hidden inside their petticoats.
3. Following the act of prohibition (from 1919-1933 the selling, manufacturing and transportation of alchoholic beverages was illegal in the United States) in 1920s America, the state of Indiana banned the sale of cocktail shakers and hip flasks.
4. Hip flasks were traditionally made of pewter, silver or even glass, though most modern flasks are made from stainless steel.
5. They are usually contoured to match the curve of the wearer’s hip or thigh, for comfort and discretion. Some modern flasks are made of plastic as to avoid detection by metal detectors. (and why would you need one of those?)
6. Some come with small cups to make sharing easier, although generally liquid is drunk directly from the flask. (yes, now we’re talking!)
7. A hip flask is most commonly purchased, and then filled by the owner. (what’s in your flask?) However, the term “flask” also applies to smallest bottle sizes of alcohol in commercial markets.
8. Antique hip flasks, particularly those made of silver,are now sought-after collector’s items.
9. The hip flask appears frequently in comedy, in part because it allows drinking in inappropriate situations where a bottle would not be found. (don’t know why but Tim Conway comes to mind)
So there you have it from the on-line dictionary Wikipedia. Flasks have been around for centuries and here I am almost half a century in age and I finally got my own flask…and it’s a beautiful thing.