The product has been added to your basket

bathing-headerbathing-headerbathing-header

A Brief History of…

Bathing

From gym showers to tin tubs, discover how we’ve scrubbed up through the ages

bathing-insert2
  1. default image
    1.

    1500BC

    It’s fair to say the Ancient Egyptians were big on baths. They made their own toiletries – a scented ‘soap’ paste consisting of ash and clay – and believed the cleaner the person, the closer they were to the gods.

    default image
bathing-insert5
  1. default image
    1.

    500-300BC

    Blokes in Ancient Greece loved hitting the gymnasium, where they’d train for sports and compete in public games. Result: a total sweat-fest. That’s why the Greeks came up with indoor showers and plumbing. Smart.

    default image
bathing-insert4
  1. default image
    1.

    Roman Era

    Communal bathhouses were the hub of Roman towns. People would socialise, exercise, slough away dead skin (urgh), and bathe in rooms with different temperatures.

    default image
bathing-insert6
  1. default image
    1.

    1767

    Englishman William Feetham made the first mechanical shower. It pumped water into a vessel over a person’s head, which then cascaded down when the chain was pulled – like an 18th century ice-bucket challenge!

    default image
bathing-insert7
  1. default image
    1.

    1900-1950s

    Homes were built with bathrooms as early as 1900, but even as late as the 1950s, lots of families still relied on tin tubs for their weekly bath. Yes, you heard that right – one wash per week. 

    default image
bathing-insert
  1. default image
    1.

    Mid-1950s

    Flotation tanks were first created by an American neuroscientist to investigate brain activity. But sensory deprivation was found to be deeply relaxing, particularly when Epsom salts were added to aid weightlessness. No wonder tanks are enjoying a comeback today.

    default image
bathing-insert3
  1. default image
    1.

    2002

    A groundbreaking study found that a long, lavender-scented bath can leave us feeling more optimistic and content. Now if that’s not an excuse for a good soak, we don’t know what is.

    default image

Words Charlotte Grant-West Photography Alamy Stock Photo, Getty Images

*Available in selected stores

close

Rate us

Enjoying this issue?
Let us know what you think

Please click on a star

Poor
Great