Turkish baths attendants attire

Ricky B

Hi everyone,

I have always wondered what the required attire was for Titanic's Turkish baths attendants. Considering that there were hot rooms and steam rooms, surely the attendants must have been incredibly hot and bothered at times! Did they wear all white garments that were loose? With shoes?

Also, were passengers only clad in towels or swimsuits or bare? And were shoes not permitted? I am trying to compare the visualisation of Titanic's facilities and Edwardian etiquette with the traditional turkish bath as well as modern spas.

Any help would be most appreciated :)

Jack Dawson


I would expect that slippers were worn by bathers, but I do not recall any detailed accounts. I know Mrs. Spedden was quoted as saying she did not particularly enjoy her visit to the Turkish Bath aboard Titanic.

I will try to answer your question to the best of my knowledge. The use of the baths was dependent on the sex of the person wanting to use it. I believe women were admitted in the morning hours, and then in the afternoon it was the men's turn. There was no mixing of genders. The baths had both male and female attendants to take care of their respective charges. The passengers walk down the stairs from E deck to F deck, where the Turkish Bath entrance was located. Upon entering, it is logical that an attendant would escort you to the dressing rooms to undress, and presumably wrap themselves in a towel or two to get around. From there my understanding is that they would be taken to either the Electric Bath (think tanning bed) or to the hot or steam room, and then be taken to the various rooms as the bath was completed.

Here is an excerpt from a 1913 book, -"Factory Sanitation"- describing a typical Turkish Bath experience:

"Routine of the Turkish Bath.

The Turkish bath, as now practiced, consists first of exposure of of the naked body to dry, hot-air or radiant heat until a profuse perspiration has been induced; next massage followed by a thorough scrubbing; with brush, soap and hot water; then a cooling shower to close the pores, which may or may not be followed by a cold plunge. The last stage consists of drying the body and resting.
" https://books.google.com/books?id=o...Izc2x65vDyAIVRGk-Ch0cZgau#v=onepage&q&f=false