Hydropathy, or the water cure, was all the rage in the 19th century.
But visiting a water cure was expensive.
A week’s stay could cost $10 when the average American earned $1 a day.
But what was the water enthusiast to do at home?
A rocking bathtub, of course.
They promised an accurate simulation of a sea bath and good health through improved circulation.
The August 9, 1891, edition of Lloyd’s Weekly in the UK described the new invention as the “height of luxurious ease”:
In this both the water can be set in motion by rocking, producing a sensation very much like the waves of the sea, which will delight and benefit especially invalids, delicate people and children. Only three pails of cold or hot water are required, and there is no splashing in the room to be apprehended. By placing a wedge under the curve of the back the bath can be made to serve the ordinary purposes of the tub.
The Nautilus Wave and Rocking bath was especially intriguing because:
a) It uses only three pails of water.
b) It cost only four pounds ( in 1891, which translates to £390.20 or US$561.)
c) It could even be stored away when not in use!
This gentleman does not look like he is having a treat never experienced before!
February 9th is Read in the Bathtub Day.
This seems very problematic in a rocking bathtub.
How is he going to turn the pages?
Siobhan is a freelance writer, research addict and lover of twisted history. If you like horrible but amazing history, check out her website www.interesly.com or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/interesly. Or you can reach her through www.siobhanoshea.com.