Despite the intrusion of the shower in modern times, the bathtub is here to stay. There will always be those who prefer to soak rather than spray. I suppose it is because bathing should be a relaxing time, not just a time to get a quick cleanup. There have been many notable bathtubs in history that set the tone.
The ancient Greek inventor Archimedes discovered the physics of displacement while sitting in a bathtub. The water rose when he got into the tub, and he figured you could measure the volume of all kinds of objects that way. As the story goes, he jumped up from the bath, shouted “Eureka!” and ran around naked telling people of his discovery. The Emperor had asked whether the royal crown was pure gold. Archimedes measured the volume of the crown by water displacement and compared that to the volume of an equal weight of pure gold. The volumes were different, indicating that the crown had lighter material underneath the gold.
Another bathtub of note was designed for a Navy ship. Battleships are designed to carry as much equipment and as many men as needed without wasting an inch of space. But an exception was made when a ship was to take President Franklin Roosevelt to the Cairo Conference and the Tehran Conference in 1943. Roosevelt had been crippled by Guillain-Barr syndrome since 1921, and would have a hard time taking a shower. A bathtub was needed for the president. Today, the USS Iowa is looking for a home as a museum ship.
William Howard Taft was the heaviest US president at 332 pounds. Early in his administration (1909-1913) he bathed in the white house bathtub, and had a larger one installed later. In 1912, he took his own oversized tub onto a ship for a trip from Key West to Colon. It was not permanently installed.
There has also been notable deaths in a bathtub. Orville Redenbacher, founder of the popcorn company that bears his name. In 1995 he was found dead in a whirlpool bath after falling victim to a heart attack.
Jim Morrison, the lead singer for The Doors, was found dead in a bathtub in Paris in 1971. He had an ongoing love affair with alcohol and drugs. Others, whose dead bodies were recovered from a bathtub would include Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.
|Courtesy of TubKing.com|
|Courtesy of TubKing.com|
In this article, I have discussed several famous and infamous bathtubs in history. I provide details on several types of modern bathtubs and further show how showers will never replace the relaxation and enjoyment that bathtubs have brought to bathing.
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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and SeniorBathtub.com in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. In addition to providing superior products, Tub King has been honored with “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Awards” for four years running. If you would like to contact Alan Knight, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.