History / BDSM

Who invented the first spanking paddle?

The paddle originated from corporal punishment that sailors were given. There are early references in Babylonian times where corporal punishment was administered to sailors for mutiny.  Paddling originates from the nautical term called cobbing.  According to William Falconer’s 1769 Universal Dictionary of Marine cobbing is performed by striking the offender a certain number of times on the breech with a flat piece of wood called a cobbing-board (W. Falconer, 1769).  Traditionally the boards used for spanking came from the front side of barrel planks.

Paddling then made it to the Americas as a way to punish slaves.  This type of punishment left no visible scarring.  According to James Glass Bertram, slaves with scarring meant that they were trouble and that no one would buy this commodity.  Therefore, scaring the back or buttocks of a slave would devalue his /her worth (J. G. Bertram, 1869).