“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.” - Sylvia Plath.
With this in mind, it is really no surprise that bathing was a central aspect of life loooong before modern times and throughout the history of many different cultures and rituals that were conducted for spiritual, religious or therapeutic benefits. Who would've thought?
All of us start our life journey in the womb of our mothers, surrounded by water, floating, in quietness, comfort and in perfect harmony. Being in water is innate to all of us… and it is only with time that we lose that feeling of attachment… and that’s how we started taking those swimming lessons again *sigh*
In ancient Egypt, dating as far back as 2,000 BC, it was common for both men and women to regularly cleanse themselves, both for hygienic and therapeutic reasons. Affluent people usually had basins and bathrooms in their homes, and were aided by servants in their daily routines, whilst the less affluent used to bathe in the Nil and in public spaces. The Egyptians loved using aromatic oils and clay to create soaps. Many washed several times a day. Cleopatra, the well-known beauty queen, was fond of milk baths and was said to have amazing looks and amazingly radiant skin. Why not follow into her footsteps? Lesson learned, ladies.
Also in ancient Greece, people understood the benefits of showers and bathing, followed by their passion for sports and pubic games, and the development of the first hot springs and the modern version of today’s shower.
Both the Greek and Romans, used to live a more communal life than we do today. People would socialize, exercise, and relax in rooms of different temperatures before bathing together. After the Roman Empire collapses, many of the facilities were forgotten and neglected.
The following centuries, despite the growing disapproval of the Church, the bathing practices went on. Even during Medieval times, people used to gather to bathe and even share a meal at the same time. This created a pretty interesting bathing/dining experience if you ask us…
Later on, in 700 AD, history takes us to Asia, where the Japanese bathhouse, as well as spread of the practice in China, can be traced back to the Buddhist temples in India. These were mainly used for religious reasons and to cure the sick.
14th century AD: in most of Europe, the view on bathhouses changed due the plague that had infested the region. People thought that illnesses could spread and public baths had fallen out of practice. During this time, more and more people starting using the private spaces at home based on their wealth.
1767: the first modern shower was invented by William Feetham in England. The invention pumped into a basin above one’s head, which would pour onto the person after pulling a chain. This was water was re-used over and over again… (ermm, okay?).
In the 19th century, public baths began to open again in England, more precisely in Liverpool, in 1829. Towards the end of the 19th century, the idea that sanitation and hygiene lead to a healthier, happier life had been restored and was received by the masses with growing consent.
In the 20th century, sanitation and plumbing facilities in people’s homes had evolved and even became a legal requirement. Bathrooms in one’s home became a source of pride, a status symbol as well as a “creative” corner filled with art, design, and personal touches. And we couldn’t love this more, our TubTime is valuable, and it deserves a great deal of attention ;-)