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The Joy Of Taking A Bath In the 20th Century

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It’s bath-time!

The vast range of aromatherapy soaps and shampoos will create a better, newer and maybe, if you can wash the think apricot and nut blend from your skin, cleaner you. The preponderance of odour-heavy holistic, slithery emollients turn your bath-times into a journey to a better, shinier you. What was once sitting in your own watery scum became a journey to unique and scented self discovery. So what your pet can no longer recognise your scent now akin to a packet of pocket-warmed blackcurrant Chewits. You are fulfilled. And any bite marks will be soothed by the gloopy unguent’s anti-bacterial element (99.9% of bacteria can’t live with those vetiver and honey back notes).

We have trawled the archives for pictures of bath-times from 1900-2000. From communal baths to the therapeutic and scrubbing, we see the journey (there it is again, folks) from metal cooking vat and rock-hard bars of soap that delivered a streaked mucus on contact with water to the sensual, bubble-and-milk liquid bath gel that make you smell of modernity in a spring English country garden.

In the 20th Century, the bath, once a simple instrument of holding hot water and dead bodies, became a slice of heaven in your plumbed-in, centrally-heated homestead.

 

Interior of Yokohama Tea Home. *Undated image Ref #: PA.17882125  Date: 01/01/1900

Interior of Yokohama Tea Home. *Undated image
Ref #: PA.17882125
Date: 01/01/1900

 

 

 

George Joseph Smith, Brides in the bath murder. Murder of Alice Burnham. 1915 Ref #: PA.4887306

George Joseph Smith, Brides in the bath murder. Murder of Alice Burnham. 1915
Ref #: PA.4887306

Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent chatting to a patient as she paid a visit to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath, England on Oct. 19, 1938 where she received over 260 purses containing over $2000 for the hospital. Afterwards she toured the hospital and the new site which the city has given to the hospital. (AP Photo/Staff/Putnam)

Princess Marina, the Duchess of Kent chatting to a patient as she paid a visit to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases in Bath, England on Oct. 19, 1938 where she received over 260 purses containing over $2000 for the hospital. Afterwards she toured the hospital and the new site which the city has given to the hospital. (AP Photo/Staff/Putnam)

While General Franco’s forces continue their advance northwards from Barcelona, and endless and pitiful stream of refugees, men, women, and children throng all the roads leading to the French Frontier. Many weary refugees were taken to the French town of Boulou, 11 kilometers from the Frontier, where they were able to rest and were given welcome free baths after their long trek. Some of the refugees lining up for the delights of a refreshing bath after their weary trek from Spain to the town of Boulou, France, on Jan. 29, 1939. (AP Photo)

While General Franco’s forces continue their advance northwards from Barcelona, and endless and pitiful stream of refugees, men, women, and children throng all the roads leading to the French Frontier. Many weary refugees were taken to the French town of Boulou, 11 kilometers from the Frontier, where they were able to rest and were given welcome free baths after their long trek. Some of the refugees lining up for the delights of a refreshing bath after their weary trek from Spain to the town of Boulou, France, on Jan. 29, 1939. (AP Photo)

U.S. Sen. Lee S. Purdon, chairman of the State Senate Penitentiary Committee, views the tubs inside the bath house for prisoners at the Pickens County chain gang camp in Jasper, Ga., June 24, 1937. (AP Photo)

U.S. Sen. Lee S. Purdon, chairman of the State Senate Penitentiary Committee, views the tubs inside the bath house for prisoners at the Pickens County chain gang camp in Jasper, Ga., June 24, 1937. (AP Photo)

A man takes an 'electric bath' Ref #: PA.5926552  Date: 21/12/1934

A man takes an ‘electric bath’
Ref #: PA.5926552
Date: 21/12/1934

 

Evacuees having their bath. Ref #: PA.5568852  Date: 04/10/1939

Evacuees having their bath.
Ref #: PA.5568852
Date: 04/10/1939

 

ChungkingÂs water is a commodity on sale at certain distribution centers. Here, a line of coolies wait to fill their wooden tubs, carried in old-time milkmaid fashion, slung from a shoulder strut in China, July 29, 1944. (AP Photo)

ChungkingÂs water is a commodity on sale at certain distribution centers. Here, a line of coolies wait to fill their wooden tubs, carried in old-time milkmaid fashion, slung from a shoulder strut in China, July 29, 1944. (AP Photo)

Two American soldiers enjoy the luxury of a hot bath in a French bathhouse at Dijon, now being operated by the Red Cross. From left, Cpl. Manuel Hohenberger and Cpl. George O. Clark. Ref #: PA.6711636  Date: 15/12/1944

Two American soldiers enjoy the luxury of a hot bath in a French bathhouse at Dijon, now being operated by the Red Cross. From left, Cpl. Manuel Hohenberger and Cpl. George O. Clark.
Ref #: PA.6711636
Date: 15/12/1944

Britain's Prince Edward, The Prince of Wales, dressed in white, “Ducking” a girl in the tub as the ship “crossed the line” of the Equator on board the Kenilworth Castle ship enroute to South Africa on Feb. 10, 1930. Passengers who were crossing the line for the first time were subjected to a “ducking” and none enjoyed the fun more heartily than the Prince, who officiated at the tub. (AP Photo)

Britain’s Prince Edward, The Prince of Wales, dressed in white, “Ducking” a girl in the tub as the ship “crossed the line” of the Equator on board the Kenilworth Castle ship enroute to South Africa on Feb. 10, 1930. Passengers who were crossing the line for the first time were subjected to a “ducking” and none enjoyed the fun more heartily than the Prince, who officiated at the tub. (AP Photo)

 

Constance Markiewicz, later known as Mrs Gore-Booth, in a prison cell in Dublin. The Countess was an Irish Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil politician, revolutionary nationalist and suffragette. She was the first woman elected to the British House of Commons, though she did not take her seat.An active participant in the 1916 Easter Dublin Uprising she is here seen through a cellar window in Liberty hall after her surrender to the British Army. Ref #: PA.2920912

Constance Markiewicz, later known as Mrs Gore-Booth, in a prison cell in Dublin. The Countess was an Irish Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil politician, revolutionary nationalist and suffragette. She was the first woman elected to the British House of Commons, though she did not take her seat.An active participant in the 1916 Easter Dublin Uprising she is here seen through a cellar window in Liberty hall after her surrender to the British Army.
Ref #: PA.2920912

Outside his thatched bamboo "cottage," Cpl. George W. Powell, of St. Petersburg, Fla., enjoys a bath as Sgt. Arne A. Metsa, of Chassell, Mich., pours the water in Naga Hills, India on Feb. 21, 1943. Tub was made from the cover of a piece of equipment. Both are with U.S. troops in the area. (AP Photo)

Outside his thatched bamboo “cottage,” Cpl. George W. Powell, of St. Petersburg, Fla., enjoys a bath as Sgt. Arne A. Metsa, of Chassell, Mich., pours the water in Naga Hills, India on Feb. 21, 1943. Tub was made from the cover of a piece of equipment. Both are with U.S. troops in the area. (AP Photo)

 

Bill Walton, a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, takes part in a safety demonstration at a Washington news conference on Monday, August 14, 1989. The commission issued a recall on approximately 250,000 hair dryers that they believe present a danger of electrocution when put into water with the switch in the "off" position. Walton is suspending a dryer into a tub of water containing a doll. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

Bill Walton, a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, takes part in a safety demonstration at a Washington news conference on Monday, August 14, 1989. The commission issued a recall on approximately 250,000 hair dryers that they believe present a danger of electrocution when put into water with the switch in the “off” position. Walton is suspending a dryer into a tub of water containing a doll. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

A blonde patient tries a mud bath at the sanitarium in Dachau on Dec. 23, 1948, a German town which is trying to wipe out the memory of the days when it was infamous for its concentration camp. (AP Photo)

A blonde patient tries a mud bath at the sanitarium in Dachau on Dec. 23, 1948, a German town which is trying to wipe out the memory of the days when it was infamous for its concentration camp. (AP Photo)

 In this Dec. 5, 1957 file photo Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida takes a bubble bath in a scene of her film called "Anna from Brooklyn", shot at Rome's Cinecitta studios.

In this Dec. 5, 1957 file photo Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida takes a bubble bath in a scene of her film called “Anna from Brooklyn”, shot at Rome’s Cinecitta studios.

A young woman takes a bath in milk at the Institute of Beauty in Paris. Ref #: PA.7392310  Date: 16/11/1953

A young woman takes a bath in milk at the Institute of Beauty in Paris.
Ref #: PA.7392310
Date: 16/11/1953

West Ham fullbacks John Bond (left) and Noel Cantwell taking a bath in sea water as they prepare for an FA Cup tie against Blackburn at Upton Park. Ref #: PA.15076368  Date: 14/02/1956

West Ham fullbacks John Bond (left) and Noel Cantwell taking a bath in sea water as they prepare for an FA Cup tie against Blackburn at Upton Park.
Ref #: PA.15076368
Date: 14/02/1956

This combination hot air-steam bath which can be folded up, is shown at the “Water Sports and Weekend Exhibition” in West Berlin, Germany, March 28, 1953. The gadget has an electric heater inside and a water reservoir which produces heat and steam as required. The gadget sells for about $62. (AP Photo/Werner Kreusch)

This combination hot air-steam bath which can be folded up, is shown at the “Water Sports and Weekend Exhibition” in West Berlin, Germany, March 28, 1953. The gadget has an electric heater inside and a water reservoir which produces heat and steam as required. The gadget sells for about $62. (AP Photo/Werner Kreusch)

Pfc. Merrill H. Small, of New Paltz, New York, enjoys a bath?native style?during break in action against Chinese Communist forces in Korea on Jan. 23, 1951. He is a member of a Heavy Mortar Co., 5th Cavalry regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. (A Photo)

Pfc. Merrill H. Small, of New Paltz, New York, enjoys a bath?native style?during break in action against Chinese Communist forces in Korea on Jan. 23, 1951. He is a member of a Heavy Mortar Co., 5th Cavalry regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. (A Photo)

Cpl. Danny Orr, of Scranton, Pa., second Division infantryman, uses a cauldron over an open fire to heat bath on April 16, 1951 during a lull in the fighting on the Korean warfront. (AP Photo)

Cpl. Danny Orr, of Scranton, Pa., second Division infantryman, uses a cauldron over an open fire to heat bath on April 16, 1951 during a lull in the fighting on the Korean warfront. (AP Photo)

Wash room aboard the Takasago Maru as the men get ready to greet their relatives and friends, in Japan on June 30, 1949. (AP Photo)

Wash room aboard the Takasago Maru as the men get ready to greet their relatives and friends, in Japan on June 30, 1949. (AP Photo)

Lien-ho, London Zoo's giant panda, in a bath tub of cold water to cool off from the summer heat. Ref #: PA.11330672  Date: 16/07/1949

Lien-ho, London Zoo’s giant panda, in a bath tub of cold water to cool off from the summer heat.
Ref #: PA.11330672
Date: 16/07/1949

Actor Edward G. Robinson portrayer of “tough guy” parts in the movies, does his best to keep a stern face as he underwent a bubble bath in a movie scene in Hollywood on March 17, 1948. He has his inevitable cigar. (AP Photo)

Actor Edward G. Robinson portrayer of “tough guy” parts in the movies, does his best to keep a stern face as he underwent a bubble bath in a movie scene in Hollywood on March 17, 1948. He has his inevitable cigar. (AP Photo)

Actress Ann Blyth takes a bubble bath in her role as a captive mermaid on the set of the comedy production Ref #: PA.8650651  Date: 17/04/1948

Actress Ann Blyth takes a bubble bath in her role as a captive mermaid on the set of the comedy production
Ref #: PA.8650651
Date: 17/04/1948

(L-R) Brentford's Harry Bamford and Harry Oliver enjoy a steamy brine bath together Ref #: PA.639669  Date: 01/03/1946

(L-R) Brentford’s Harry Bamford and Harry Oliver enjoy a steamy brine bath together
Ref #: PA.639669
Date: 01/03/1946

A South African captain in the British convoy which transported Ethiopian prisoners of war back to their homes in Abbyssinia enjoys a bath in a portable tub after a day’s ride over dust-roads on May 14, 1942. The portable tubs are part of an officer’s equipment. (AP Photo)

A South African captain in the British convoy which transported Ethiopian prisoners of war back to their homes in Abbyssinia enjoys a bath in a portable tub after a day’s ride over dust-roads on May 14, 1942. The portable tubs are part of an officer’s equipment. (AP Photo)

Britain's top dancing troupe Pan's People visiting a special display of bathing through the ages to promote the launch of a new bath additive - Dettol Deep Fresh, at the Portman Hotel, London. Left to right; Sarah Woollett, Abigail Higgins, Helen Joyce, Francesca Whitburn, Pauline Crawford and Patricia McSherry. Ref #: PA.11530599  Date: 31/01/1980

Britain’s top dancing troupe Pan’s People visiting a special display of bathing through the ages to promote the launch of a new bath additive – Dettol Deep Fresh, at the Portman Hotel, London. Left to right; Sarah Woollett, Abigail Higgins, Helen Joyce, Francesca Whitburn, Pauline Crawford and Patricia McSherry.
Ref #: PA.11530599
Date: 31/01/1980

The opening of the new 'Bathroom Boutique', the first in the UK, at Mount street, London Actress Lynda Baron and four young 'water-babies' make good use of the 'Gold Dust Moon Bath', which is made of reinforced fibreglass and costs £250.  Ref #: PA.8314362  Date: 06/03/1968

The opening of the new ‘Bathroom Boutique’, the first in the UK, at Mount street, London Actress Lynda Baron and four young ‘water-babies’ make good use of the ‘Gold Dust Moon Bath’, which is made of reinforced fibreglass and costs £250.
Ref #: PA.8314362
Date: 06/03/1968

Sean Connery films a scene for "You Only Live Twice" at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. James Bond, who has sampled most other of life's good things, savours an Oriental delight-a Japanese bath for his new film "You Only Live Twice".  Ref #: PA.18892152  Date: 26/09/1966

Sean Connery films a scene for “You Only Live Twice” at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. James Bond, who has sampled most other of life’s good things, savours an Oriental delight-a Japanese bath for his new film “You Only Live Twice”.
Ref #: PA.18892152
Date: 26/09/1966

A Pontoon supporting of foot bridge near Da nang Republic of Vietnam on April 29, 1966 serves as a bathtub for Sgt. Richard Mccloud (Aiea, Hawall) for “G” Co.,2nd Bn., ninth Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. The Bubble bath was sent by a girl friend. The Bridge links the company's positions. (AP Photo)

A Pontoon supporting of foot bridge near Da nang Republic of Vietnam on April 29, 1966 serves as a bathtub for Sgt. Richard Mccloud (Aiea, Hawall) for “G” Co.,2nd Bn., ninth Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. The Bubble bath was sent by a girl friend. The Bridge links the company’s positions. (AP Photo)

Sp4 Mack A. Hassier of Crab Orchard, Tenn. pours water from a helmet over Pfc. Lee A. Bilbrey of Pleasant Hills, Tenn. taking his first bath in 10 days in a Vietnamese crock on March 7, 1966 after being pulled back from front line for a rest. Unit remained on 30 minute alert. (AP Photo)

Sp4 Mack A. Hassier of Crab Orchard, Tenn. pours water from a helmet over Pfc. Lee A. Bilbrey of Pleasant Hills, Tenn. taking his first bath in 10 days in a Vietnamese crock on March 7, 1966 after being pulled back from front line for a rest. Unit remained on 30 minute alert. (AP Photo)

Concert pianist, Joseph Cooper, who is to play at this years Bath Festival is in constant rehearsal. He is pictured using a dummy key board even while taking a bath at his home in Surrey. Picture date: 11th May 1964.

Concert pianist, Joseph Cooper, who is to play at this years Bath Festival is in constant rehearsal. He is pictured using a dummy key board even while taking a bath at his home in Surrey.
Picture date: 11th May 1964.

PA. 6400405 Lifestyle - International Caravan Exhibition - Earl's Court Karen Birch tries out the bath in the "New Chalet" caravan. F2204-22 Ref #: PA.6400405  Date: 17/09/1963

PA.
6400405
Lifestyle – International Caravan Exhibition – Earl’s Court
Karen Birch tries out the bath in the “New Chalet” caravan.
F2204-22
Ref #: PA.6400405
Date: 17/09/1963

Thumbs up from ten year old Thomas Franklin Ross, as he tells Margaret Barnett of the progress he is making in the hydro-therapy baths of the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswetry. He was brought to Britain for treatment by Margaret Barnett, who found him whilst travelling through the jungles of Liberia. Ref #: PA.7699675  Date: 09/12/1961

Thumbs up from ten year old Thomas Franklin Ross, as he tells Margaret Barnett of the progress he is making in the hydro-therapy baths of the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswetry. He was brought to Britain for treatment by Margaret Barnett, who found him whilst travelling through the jungles of Liberia.
Ref #: PA.7699675
Date: 09/12/1961

After winning the League championship following a victory over Sheffield Wednesday, members of Tottenham Hotspur took to a warm bath. From left to right: Les Allen, Cliff Jones, John White, Dave Mackay, Peter Baker (rear); Terry Dyson, Bill Brown, Ron Henry and Bobby Smith (rear waving). Two absent members were captain Danny Blanchflower who took a shower, and Maurice Norman who was having a cut head stitched. Ref #: PA.4875397  Date: 17/04/1961

After winning the League championship following a victory over Sheffield Wednesday, members of Tottenham Hotspur took to a warm bath. From left to right: Les Allen, Cliff Jones, John White, Dave Mackay, Peter Baker (rear); Terry Dyson, Bill Brown, Ron Henry and Bobby Smith (rear waving).
Two absent members were captain Danny Blanchflower who took a shower, and Maurice Norman who was having a cut head stitched.
Ref #: PA.4875397
Date: 17/04/1961

CHARLIE DIMMOCK IN BATH OF POPCORN