Going to the swimming bath & Turkish Bath


Hello all,

I have been a Titanic fan for many years, and had this question in my brain for a while and wondered if anyone could answer it.

Today on a cruise you can just put you bathing suit/bikini on and a towel and head to the pool. On Titanic and in 1912 society people didn't just walk around in swim wear even the body covering stuff people wore then.

Men had it easier where clothes were concerned but women's clothes took a lot of time and effort to put on.
Not to mention, I seem to remember that most fashionable women's clothes had to be put on with help from someone, like a ladies' maid.

How on earth did they do it? Did they wear something simple when they went down to the Turkish baths or the swimming bath?

Sorry for the really long post. I was just dying of curiosity.


There were changing rooms next to the swimming pool and Turkish bath. I don't know about 1912 culture, but I'd imagine they'd wear something like a workout outfit on the way there, then change into a swimming outfit when they arrived.

Also, the gymnasium had no changing room, and neither did the squash court. So you would have had to walk down a deck to the nearest bath for the gym (down the Grand Staircase no less), and up a deck for the squash court.


Sorry if I'm over stepping a line with a first post but there is a nice example of period exercise clothes for the lady here Dressed in Time: Calisthenics for Ladies and Turn of the Century Gym Clothes

And as for swimming you can see that then as now serious athelites were wearing very racy and form fitting costumes while the public were a little more demure here A Brief and Incomplete History of the Swimsuit (scroll down to 1912)

Men seemed to dress like boxers or footballers for the day with tight shirts and long shorts for exercise. The thing about manners and the "done thing" is you can be mortally offended by the sight of an ankle at dinner and be oblivious to partial nudity when it is considered "appropriate".


Not to mention if I remember right from my reading the sexes did not mix while in the swimming bath as it was called. There was specific times men and women could respectively use the swimming bath. I assume the same goes for the Turkish baths as well.
The Turkish bath was for 1st class only. Third class passengers were provided with two bathtubs -- yes, two, located on D Deck near the 3rd Class Entrance. Third class capacity was 1026 with 709 people on the maiden voyage, so you would be sharing a bathtub with hundreds of people. People would have washed up daily, probably most of them in their cabins as every cabin in Third Class had some sort of sink. But few would take baths.