The history of cast iron baths

The history of cast iron baths

Bathtubs nowadays are generally fashioned out of acrylic or fibreglass, though cast iron baths are available as a luxury option. Though it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact timeframe when the cast iron bathtub emerged, it is generally believed to be in the 18th and 19th centuries. Before then, bathing occurred in large bathhouses or in large wooden tubs, the latter of which were reserved for the powerful, wealthy elite of society. However, bathing would fall into decline through early modern Europe. Nobles would wear perfume rather than bathe, as they believed disease was caused by odour rather than uncleanliness! These attitudes would only really begin to change throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, when research indicated that bathing and general cleanliness would aid good health.

While communal baths were popular, dating all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, and the first modern public baths were opened in Liverpool at the beginning of the 19th century, the home bathtub wouldn’t truly reach popular, widespread levels until the late 19th century. This is when the Victorian public embraced the ideal of a bath and bathtubs became common with the aristocracy, though accessibility would gradually increase with the vast improvements made to water and plumbing systems across England over the century. Even then, the idea of a daily bath or shower wouldn’t come into the forefront of the public mind until the 20th century.

Most Victorian tubs were made out of tin, bronze or, indeed, cast iron. Cast iron baths were incredibly popular amongst the aristocracy due to their ability to retain heat, which made for comfortable bathing.  Cast iron baths would experience a surge in popularity when a method of enamelling them was discovered. Though still relatively expensive and remaining firmly a luxury item, this method would revolutionize bathing.

Cast iron baths are now much more widely available and easily installed than they were in the Victorian Era. Clawfoot tubs, in particular, are much revered and desired bathtubs. We can provide you with the beautiful cast iron bath of your dreams at a very affordable price, due to the fact that we have low overheads. We provide excellent customer service and are proud to ensure that everyone can experience the joy of bathing in cast iron baths.

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