Historical Background of Bathroom Shower
The origin of bathroom shower is a question of guess work. Imaginatively, the first person who enjoyed showering has to have been a hot, dusty traveler or herdsman who was caught in a shower of rain and enjoyed the pleasant and cleansing experience. Early humans used rivers and pools to clean themselves. Natural rock pools must have been especially enjoyable when there was a tumbling waterfall to stand beneath.
As far back as earliest recorded history, and word of mouth, goes, bathrooms with baths for religious purification rituals, as well as hygienic cleansing are known to have been used. Rivers, rock pools and specially built baths filled by means of water cisterns and canal systems were used. You can see many remains of these at archeological digs today.
In Biblical times there were records of cleansing by means of pouring water out of a vessel over the head and body. This was considered preferable to bathing in stagnant water. One can not class this activity as the use of showers.
Early Recorded History of Bathroom Shower
Among the early recorded evidence of the practice of using showers is that of the ancient Greeks in approximately 300 BC. Vases and murals, depicting servants pouring vessels of water over their masters, have been discovered by archeologists. Similar images have been discovered from the early Egyptian civilizations.
The Romans in the hot Mediterranean areas had baths, and in the colder areas, such as in Britain, they made use of hot springs. The Romans loved their baths so much they made a social occasion of bathing. They had food and drink served while they bathed. Very often guests were invited. The Roman villa bathrooms as well as the more public baths, were often surrounded by statues issuing water, and a variety of fountains and sprays. In these baths, the bathers must have been no stranger to the showering experience. In fact, these could be classed as early showers.
After the middle ages, the earliest recorded private bathroom in the UK was recently discovered. It dated back to the mid 17th century.
During the Scottish Enlightenment in 18th century Scotland,the famous Lord Monboddo, a High Court judge, philosopher and writer, whose theories of evolution influenced Darwin, was famed for his icy cold shower he took in a bathroom shower built outside his house each day. He believed that this practice enhanced his health.
Regency showers became available at the beginning of the 19th century in Britain. This was quite an elaborate structure, incorporating the early plumbing that was gradually replacing outdoor lever-pumps, garden wells and public street pumps. Rather like private baths installed in dressing rooms, these contraptions were regarded with suspicion and their owners as bold and audacious.
However, during the rest of century as plumbing became the rage, first in the large, wealthy homes, then gradually being incorporated into smaller houses, bathrooms, bathtubs and bath showers became more common.
Large wooden bathtubs had been available for hire in public bath houses for a long time, right back to the middle ages. Now they were going private and becoming a normal part of the home. Inevitably bathroom showers were also installed in public bathing houses. Towards the end of the 19th century, showers were installed in the wash rooms of the army barracks of the Prussian soldiers. It was not long before other armies followed suit. In time Schools, and later sports clubs, copied them.
The Victorians created special rooms, usually large and airy, with high ceilings, for their bathrooms. They did not include toilets in their bathrooms. The toilet rooms were kept outside separately, or at least had their entrance from the outside of the house. Their bathrooms had tiles, bathtubs and sinks as well as a variety of stands and racks and ornaments. Their bathroom showers were usually fastened over their ball and claw bathtubs and they had cumbersome semicircular screens which contained the plumbing for the bathroom showers as well as serving as shields to prevent water splashing out of the bathtub.
By the end of the Second World War, scarcely a modern, permanently built house in the world was without a bathroom installed. Bathroom showers were usually installed over the bathtub with shower curtains, as many are still today. Later, in gradual stages, all the variations in style that we see in contemporary bathroom showers became available.
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