1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.


Discussion in 'Health Medicine and Hygiene' started by Sahand Miraminy, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Hey Everyone,
    I know you guys know alot about the Gilded Age so I was wondering How often someone in third class took a bath. I made a thread about the baths in third class already but im wondering the amount of times. Also I would like to know about first class people. Even for extra what about second! Thanks All!

  2. The mass- produced bath tub did not appear until the 1920's! George Vanderbilt, with his millions was one of the first to have a real luxury bathroom in 1855 and the Newport mansions of 1870-1900 have huge marble tubs like sarcophagi with hot, cold, and salt running water taps. The wash bowl and pitcher was the norm for most, and total immersion baths were rare for the average person, Tin hip baths in front of the fire might be a weekly possibility- usually on Saturday night with the family sharing the bath water! Ben Franklin imported a copper one from France- it was shaped like a shoe and took forever to fill by hand. There was even a certain fear in Victorian times, especially among the poorer classes that stripping down and exposing the body to total immersion might be harmful. Queen Elizabeth I rarely washed- heavy perfumes and powders covered odors.The spa craze in Europe soon made hydrotherapy trendy for the rich. Then the health fads and nutrition gurus like the Kellogg Brothers in America made soaks and therapuetic baths desirable. Harrogate and Bath were prime destinations for water therapies- natural spring water to bathe in and drink-some of it nasty-tasting of sulphur. The wealthy certainly had the hygiene edge with tubs, maids and valets to "draw" the bathwater and the space to devote a room to plumbing and tubbing. Interesting to see that in other cultures, bathing began earlier-especially in the Orient and in Greece where public baths for meditation and purification were popular- now, I am going to have a soak in a bubblebath. Oh- one more thing- Mr. Kohler in 1883 put some claw feet on his steel hog scalder, enamelled the surface and sold it along with his farm equipment catalogue as a bathing trough-smart cookie, Kohler Company is still around and doing fine.
  3. For those who have an interest...the Kohler Company has a toilet and bathtub "museum" at its headquarters in Kohler, Wisconsin. All of the company's products are displayed in chronological history on the back wall of he building...a wall known localled (of course) as the "Great Wall of China."

    -- David G. Brown
  4. John Meeks

    John Meeks Guest

    Shelley made a very good point about the early Victorian aversion to soap and water. The Duke of Wellington claimed to have never bathed, and is reported to have said "..it's sweat, dammit, that keeps a man clean..!"

    I'm not sure how many close friends he had...


    John M
  5. Hey Everyone,
    Thanks for the info! So the
    first class only took a bath a week even?
    Ummmm Rose isnt looking all that hot anymore lol. I was thinking atleast on the Titanic they would bath more probably! Tell me what you think!

    thanks, Sahand
  6. Oh I think we can rest assured Rose hung out in mansions and stately homes with tubs. The well-heeled who enjoyed the Grand Tour had caught on to the bathing routine, turkish baths, massages and steam rooms. Central heating took long enought to reach the United Kingdom though! So heating that palatial bathroom might have been tricky.
  7. Hey Shelley,
    Thanks for the info! Its been a great help!

  8. On the subject and off the subject in regards to the Kohler family. Through researching the Titanic I tend to long for a time where one could gaze at people with such grace and charm. In todays society it is rare. However, the Kohlers are one such family. I had the opportunity to meet the Kohlers in Oklahoma City where my horse was competing with theirs and a thousand others. The Kohlers are from a time long since gone. Even their stables, which were merely theirs for a week during the event, were draped in fine decor and displayed their class and elegance.
  9. Shelley or anyone else:

    It's been a while since this thread, but I was visiting old threads including others on bathing, but I was wondering if you or anyone could tell me then what Helen Churchill Candee was referring to in her Collier's article about the night of the sinking when she said she had asked the steward to draw her bath, and shortly after the grinding of the iceberg, she was perplexed as to why he had not done so. If no bathtub, what did drawing the bath mean for a first-class passenger such as herself mean? Draw a basin and pitcher full of water? Thanks.
  10. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    No bathtub? There were hundreds of them on Titanic. 3rd Class passengers weren't too well supplied (only two for several hundred people!) but for 1st and 2nd Class there were plenty, though private bathrooms were provided only for the more expensive suites in 1st Class. And there were bathroom stewards to service them. So 'drawing a bath' meant exactly what we'd expect it to mean.
  11. I guess I was just led astray by Shelley's old statement that the mass-produced bathtub did not appear til the 1920s. Guess she meant that not everyone had one. Well, that's a relief. Wouldn't want Helen Candee and her peers suffering through sponge-bathing.
  12. You might also recall the spectacular views of Capt. Smith's tub seen up close in recent wreck dives. President Taft was so portly a special tub had to be made for him and installed in the White House. Cast iron tubs, for those lucky to have one in the house, were enameled with porcelain around 1883, a great improvement. Kohler and American Standard have actually been around that long and continue to be the biggest American suppliers. I am not too familiar with proper English baths, but I think tub surrounds were the thing in the UK- sometimes beautifully constructed with mahogany paneling. The clawfoots came long before the built-in bathtubs and grouted tile, really appearing in numbers in new construction right after WWI. Statistics confirm that in 1921 only 1% of American homes had indoor plumbing. Like the first Tin Lizzie cars- the tubs came in one color- white. The Crane Company brought out colored tubs and lavatories in 1928. I have to laugh at the prices the new repro Kohler clawfoot tub is going for- with goldplated taps- over $3,000! Toweling, and usually tiled floors were white too, being the color associated with sanitary hygiene right up until post WWII.
  13. Shelley, thank you for the bathroom education. I have an antique porcelain cast-iron bathtub(not claw-foot but freestanding and resting on a stand) in my bathroom that came with my house, and let me tell you, they really retain heat. I don't think the real things cost $3,000, but they can be the devil to move into a bathroom--they're kinda heavy. i also pulled the capt. smith bathtub photos--amazing to see again.
  14. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    A couple of pics from advertisements for the Standard Sanitary Mfg Co of Pittsburgh, both dated 1909. Their range of porcelain-enamelled baths and lavatories were 'a revelation in modern bathroom equipment, not only in the added convenience and perfect sanitation they afford, but also in the extraordinarily long life their installation assures'. For the First Class passengers, mark you. The rest don't wash, of course. :)

    99234.jpg 99235.jpg
  15. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    And here we have the Siwelco noiseless syphon jet water closet, offered by the Trenton Potteries Co of New Jersey in a 1913 ad: 'This appeals particularly to those whose sense of refinement is shocked by the noisy flushing of the old style closet. The Siwelco was designed to prevent such embarassment.'

    For the First Class passengers, mark you. The rest don't care, of course. :)

  16. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    I'm having a bit of trouble working out exactly what's going on in these pictures, Bob. Is that a shower or an Iron Maiden? And which is the toilet and which is the bidet? Or is it two bidets, his and hers, for those with a particular sense of refinement? And what's happened to that poor girl. Has she fallen between two luxurious porcelain appointments and got stuck?

    I suppose a Siwelco is a silent welcome?
  17. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    Trust you to make things complicated, Mon. The device on the left was very necessary in the best houses, for dealing with visiting tradesmen who needed to be forceably cleansed. I see you're having the same problem as Crocodile Dundee with the other stuff. But he managed to figure it out, and so, in time, will you. The toilet would have been in a separate room or enclosure. The ladies on the far right are arguing about who gets the bathwater first, and the one on the left has won by a knockout.
  18. >>I have to laugh at the prices the new repro Kohler clawfoot tub is going for- with goldplated taps- over $3,000! <<

    Then see me at Lowe's for a special order. I can get you a better deal. wink.gif

    Seriously, Kohler may not be one of the cheapest, but they're renowned for the sheer quality of what they put into just about anything and everything they make from faucets to diesel engines. (And no, I'm not kidding about the engine. The emergency generator where I work has a Kohler engine.)
  19. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    Monica, the hardware in the shower unit forms a semi-circular cage of piping designed to deliver sprays from a variety of heights and angles. Motts Ironworks offered the ultimate patent combination unit: with needle shower, descending douche, liver spray and bidet bath. It was not recommended for use by ladies - 'too bracing'. You have been warned.
  20. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

    Monica! No! Don't do it, it's too bracing! Well, don't come crying to me if you get hyperactive.