How Old Is the Bathtub?

In very ancient times, people bathed right in the nearest river or lake. But when cities began to grow, it was no longer possible for everyone to bathe in the same river.

So, wash basins came into use for bathing in the house. Most of these ancient vessels were too small to hold a person, and were more like a sink than a tub.

The Greeks and Romans built huge public bathhouses that included not only hot and cold baths, but gyms, theaters, and gardens as well. The walls of these baths were made of marble, and the water taps of silver. Water was heated by fires in the basement. One Roman bathhouse was big enough to hold 3,200 bathers at one time!

In later centuries, some people installed wooden tubs in their homes and filled them with water by hand. It was not until the 20th century that the home bathtub with hot-and-cold running water become common everywhere in the world.

In some bathing resorts of the 1600s, people spent up to 124 hours in the tub to treat various body ailments!