Bubble Pipes

Bubbles are still fun for kids. Source
Bubble pipes have been around for gosh knows how long and they're still good for some inexpensive, old-fashioned fun. I say pipe but most bubble blowers these days have dispensed with the pipe shape due to the smoking connotations - no-one wants to encourage children to emulate a smoker, so they've gone the way of chocolate cigarettes and candied cigars. The original  idea for the pipes could well have been inspired by the exotic hookah - a traditional pipe where the smoke is cooled by water, making a characteristic bubbling sound when sucked on.

Vintage bubble pipe. Source
The first patents for bubble blowers can be traced back to the 1920s -when pipes and wands began to be manufactured for a mass market. In the 1940s, bubble sets in decorative boxes were sold. These included a couple of pipes, a cake of soap and a dish to froth the soap and water in.

Post war, bubble pipes were sold with their own premixed bubble solution In the 50s and 60s, mechanised and battery operated bubble blowers were also available, often featuring a tin based pipe.

Of course, bubble blowing is still popular -and there's a big variety of 'bubble facilitators' on the market.  It's a pastime humans never seemed to have tired of...I'd guess all of us have blown a few bubbles at some time or other.

The effervescent but fragile nature of bubbles has long appealed. 18th century painting by Jean Batiste Simeon Chardin
Bubble Fun for Babies
If you have a baby, try lying him or her on the floor and blowing some bubbles above the babies head (being careful not to let any land suds fall on their eyes) - the magical rainbow colours will fascinate and amuse them, as they reach out to try and grab the elusive bubbles. It can also have a calming affect on an irritable infant.
For the serious bubble blower. From Funrise

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