OLD-FASHIONED copper bed warmers, or tangpozi, are gaining popularity again in the city as locals are lining up at the stores of a time-honored brand to purchase a piece of a bygone era.
Using tangpozi to keep warm was once very common in Shanghai. Putting boiling water in the copper container and placing it in bed, and then using the water for washing the face in the morning, is a warm memory of many Shanghainese. They usually wrapped the item with a towel or a piece of clothing to avoid being scalded.
Preparing tangpozi as part of a bride's dowry and use of smaller tangpozi to warm hands were also popular practices before they were replaced by rubber hot water bottles and then electric blankets.
The item strikes a chord of nostalgia, and many locals hope to find one after learning that they have become easier to find in stores within the past several years.
"In those (earlier) times, almost every Shanghainese regarded tangpozi as a necessity in winter, especially for old people," said Liao Huiying, 73.
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