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Origins of the Modern Bathtub

Jan 26, 2018  |  By Brham Trim (Edmonton)  |  Bathtubs

giant bathtub by Erica Nicol

Regular – often daily – bathing is now a social norm in Canada. Sanitary, hot water available on tap coupled with bathtubs and showers installed directly into most homes makes this possible, but where did our modern bathtubs originate?

The practice of bathing is likely as old as time itself, and public baths have been discovered dating back to the ancient world. However, our familiar, modern bathtubs draw their influence directly from the classic ‘clawfoot’ tub – a plumbing appliance that hit its peak in the late 19th century.

Taking its name from the claw-shaped legs that the tub rests on, the clawfoot bathtub was developed in Holland in the 18th century, and found its way to Britain, and subsequently North America. Traditionally made of heavy cast iron, they were usually only owned by the affluent. However, as residential indoor plumbing became widely available, bathtubs, too, began to be found more commonly.

The clawfoot design slowly lost ground to the more modern built-in apron-front design, which has typically been considered to be easier to maintain, and is now commonly found installed in most houses.

Whether you need maintenance on your current bathtub, or installation of a new model, don’t hesitate to give Action Auger a call – we are available 24 hours a day!