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Bathing machines

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56300.  Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:35 am Reply with quote

Q: Why did Victorians use bathing machines [this would work better with a picture, I think] when they went sea-bathing?
F: To preserve their semi-naked modesty.
A: So as not to drown.

Very few British people could swim in the 19th century - even those who made their living on water. As Sweet (see sources) says: “Once you know that, the nineteenth-century predilection for bathing machines - wheeled huts that conveyed their occupants into the sea - looks less like an affected attempt to preserve modesty, and more like an eminently practical way for a non-swimmer to get into water deep enough to allow her to immerse herself.”

Source: ‘Inventing the Victorians’ by Matthew Sweet (2001).

56301.  Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:42 am Reply with quote

Is he saying that that was the reason, or that that looks to him like the reason, do you reckon? From the quote it looks more like the latter.

56322.  Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:42 am Reply with quote

Yes, it definitely looks like an opinion, doesn't it? And a swift run through the googles fails to uncover anyone else saying the same, sadly.


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