National Bathtub Day

A cozy bathroom scene with a person relaxing in a bathtub filled with bubbles, surrounded by candles and plants, radiating pure relaxation and tranquility..
National bathtub day illustration

Welcome to, where we dive deep into the history and origins of national days! Today, we're celebrating National Bathtub Day - a day dedicated to those relaxing, bubbly tubs of pure bliss. So get ready to soak up all the fun facts and delightful history behind this splish-splashing national day!

When is Bathtub Day?

It's national bathtub day on the 7th October.

The Origin of National Bathtub Day

Now, you might be wondering how on earth National Bathtub Day came to be. Well, let me tell you, it's quite a soggy story! Back in 1875, the legendary plumber and inventor, Bartholomew Bathtubs, revolutionized personal hygiene by creating the very first portable bathtub. It quickly became a hit, and people from all walks of life were able to enjoy a soothing soak wherever they pleased.

Fast forward to the present day, and we can't imagine our lives without bathtubs. Whether it's a quick splash in the morning or a luxurious soak after a long day, our tubs provide the perfect escape from the chaos of the world. And that's why we celebrate National Bathtub Day!

Fun Bathtub Facts

Did you know that the average person spends about two years of their life in the bathroom? That's a whole lot of quality bathtub time! So why not make the most of it on National Bathtub Day?

History behind the term 'Bathtub'


The First Recorded Mention

The term 'bathtub' was first recorded in 1777, in reference to a large vessel used for bathing. However, these early bathtubs were typically made of wood and lined with metal or lead, making them heavy and prone to leaking.

c. 1700s

Early Origins

The term 'bathtub' originates from the early 18th century when people began using large containers to bathe in. These early bathtubs were usually made of wood and resembled large, deep buckets or barrels. They were typically used in wealthier households and were filled with hot water manually.


The First Mention

The term 'bathtub' is first mentioned in English literature by the English poet and satirist, Samuel Foote. In his play 'The Successful Pyrate,' Foote describes a character as having 'a pair of lobster claws instead of hands, and a leaden flail instead of legs, who was dangerous enough in his hold, in case he should have happened to have been introduced into a Venetian bathtub.' This is the earliest known reference to a bathtub in the English language.


Early Concept

The concept of the bathtub dates back to the early 18th century. In 1740, the first recorded instance of a bathing tub was mentioned in a book called 'A Description of Bath' by Scottish author William Boyce. However, these early tubs were primarily wooden and portable, lacking the modern design features of present-day bathtubs.


The Improvement with Cast Iron

In 1828, the first cast iron bathtub was built by David Buick. This marked a significant improvement in the design, as cast iron provided more durability and allowed for thinner walls, making the bathtubs lighter and easier to manufacture.


Cast Iron Innovation

The year 1828 marked an important milestone in bathtub history. Scottish engineer David Buick introduced the cast iron bathtub, which revolutionized bathing practices. This innovation provided a more comfortable and durable option for bathing, and its popularity started to rise.


Introduction of Cast Iron Tubs

In the early 19th century, bathtubs were made of heavy cast iron and were primarily used by the wealthy. The design of these tubs featured four legs and resembled a standing coffin more than a modern bathtub. They were often placed in large bathrooms or dressing rooms, and heated water had to be manually poured into the tub.


The First Modern Bathtub

The modern bathtub as we know it today was introduced in 1850. In this year, a Scottish inventor named Alexander Cummings patented the first design for a modern bathtub. It featured a built-in drainage system, allowing for easy water removal after use. This innovation made bathtubs more convenient and sanitary.


Plumbing Revolutionizes Bathing

In 1883, plumbing advancements revolutionized bathing habits. American standard manufacturers began mass-producing bathtubs made of cast iron with a porcelain enamel finish. These new bathtubs were connected directly to the home's plumbing system, allowing for an automatic water supply and drainage. This made bathing accessible to a wider population.


Enamel Coating Development

During the 1850s, the process of coating the cast iron tubs with porcelain enamel was developed. The addition of the enamel coating not only enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the bathtubs but also provided a smoother surface that was easier to clean. This advancement further increased the popularity of bathtubs as a quintessential household fixture.


First Indoor Plumbing

The invention of indoor plumbing by Joshua Rand in 1828 marked a significant step forward for the bathtub. Rand's design included a water closet with a built-in bathtub. This innovative approach to plumbing allowed water to be pumped into the bathtub automatically, eliminating the need for manual filling. The bathroom as we know it today began to take shape.


The Introduction of the Clawfoot Tub

In 1883, the clawfoot tub was introduced, adding an elegant and decorative touch to bathrooms. These tubs featured ornate feet, usually in the shape of claws, and became a popular choice among the upper class.


Plumbing Integration

The year 1883 witnessed an essential advancement in bathtub functionality. American inventor John Michael Kohler created the first bathtub with plumbing integration. This bathtub had a built-in waste outlet and overflow, making it more convenient for users. Kohler's innovation laid the foundation for the integration of plumbing systems in future bathtub designs.


The Rise of Clawfoot Tubs

During the 1920s, clawfoot tubs became popular. These tubs had decorative feet made of materials such as cast iron or brass, giving them an elegant appearance. Clawfoot tubs were commonly found in affluent homes and hotels, boosting their status as a symbol of luxury and sophistication.


The Clawfoot Tub

The clawfoot tub, with its decorative and elegant design, became popular in the late 19th century. This style featured raised legs with claw-shaped feet, often made of cast iron or porcelain. The clawfoot tub added a touch of luxury to bathrooms and remained a popular choice until the early 20th century.


The Invention of the Built-In Tub

In 1901, the first built-in bathtub was introduced by the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company (later known as American Standard). This innovation allowed the bathtub to be installed directly against the walls, saving space and providing a sleeker appearance.


Invention of the Modern Bathtub

In 1883, the first bathtub with an integrated overflow and waste outlet was patented by John Michael Kohler. This marked a significant advancement in bathtub design and functionality. Kohler's invention allowed for a more convenient and hygienic bathing experience, as excess water could be drained easily without overflowing.


The Advent of Fiberglass Tubs

In 1968, fiberglass bathtubs were introduced, revolutionizing the industry. Fiberglass offered a lightweight and affordable alternative to traditional materials, making bathtubs more accessible to a wider range of consumers.


Clawfoot Tub Design

In 1921, the iconic clawfoot bathtub design gained immense popularity. These freestanding tubs, elevated by distinctive claw-shaped feet, became synonymous with luxury and style. The clawfoot tubs were often made of cast iron and were a common fixture in fashionable households throughout the early 20th century.


The Advent of Acrylic Bathtubs

In the 1960s, acrylic bathtubs gained popularity due to their lightweight and durable nature. Acrylic offered advantages over traditional materials like cast iron and porcelain. These bathtubs came in a variety of shapes and colors, allowing homeowners to express their personal style and add a modern touch to their bathrooms.


Fiberglass Reinvention

In 1948, a significant reinvention of the bathtub occurred with the introduction of fiberglass as a material. Fiberglass bathtubs provided a lightweight alternative to the traditional cast iron tubs while maintaining durability. This innovation made bathtubs more affordable and accessible to a broader range of households.


The Rise of Whirlpool and Spa Tubs

In the 1980s, whirlpool and spa tubs gained popularity, bringing a new level of relaxation and hydrotherapy to bathing. These tubs featured built-in jets that provided therapeutic massages, offering a luxurious bathing experience.


Bathtubs in Contemporary Times

Today, bathtubs continue to evolve with advancements in design, materials, and technology. Modern bathtubs are available in various styles, including freestanding, alcove, drop-in, and whirlpool tubs. They often incorporate features like jets, LED lighting, and built-in speakers, transforming the bathroom into a luxurious spa-like retreat.

20th Century

Mass Production and Innovations

The 20th century saw the mass production of bathtubs, making them more affordable and accessible to the general public. The introduction of acrylic and fiberglass materials in the mid-20th century revolutionized bathtub manufacturing, making them lighter, more durable, and easier to install. Innovations such as whirlpool jets and adjustable settings further enhanced the bathing experience.


Contemporary Bathtub Designs

Today, bathtubs come in various shapes, sizes, and materials. From traditional built-in tubs to modern freestanding designs, there is a wide array of options to suit individual preferences. Additionally, advancements in technology have led to innovations like whirlpool and air-jet tubs, further enhancing the bathing experience.


Evolving Designs and Customization

Today, bathtubs come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, catering to different preferences and bathroom layouts. Freestanding tubs, corner tubs, and soaking tubs are just a few examples of the diverse designs available. Modern advancements include hydrotherapy features, chromotherapy lighting, and even smart technology integration, transforming the bathtub into a spa-like retreat within the home.

Present Day

Continued Innovation and Customization

Today, the term 'bathtub' encompasses a wide range of designs and materials. With advancements in technology, bathtubs now come in various shapes, sizes, and features to suit individual preferences. From high-tech hydrotherapy tubs to stylish freestanding models, the bathtub has evolved to become a centerpiece of modern bathrooms.

Did you know?

Fun Fact: The world's largest bathtub can be found in a hotel in Japan and can hold up to 600 gallons of water!


fun nostalgia relaxation

First identified

10th July 2015

Most mentioned on

7th October 2015

Total mentions


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