Bath Time Get in the Tub

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Bath tubs, some history and examples of bath tubs in different places... artistry of use even after the tub is no longer used in the home.

Bath Time: Get in the Tub!

A plumbing fixture that we take for granted in this modern world. It is simply a functional standard device in a standard bathroom. They almost never break down or require repair. From utilitarian usefulness to elegant luxury, we all love ‘em.

Classic Olde Bath Tub

Cast-iron and ceramic coated, chipped and marred with age and ready to be cast-off, this has a certain artistic appeal. How many bodies have bathed in this tub in its useful lifetime? Children have grown up and moved away, but the bath tub remains.

There are two main styles of tub, the western ‘lie down’ type and the eastern type where the bather is in the sitting up position. The latter type tends to be of deep capacity.

It was in 1883 when two companies, the Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company and Kohler Company, began to produce a cast-iron tub. This was advertised as being a “horse trough and hog scalder” and when it was furnished with the four cast iron feet, also served as a bath tub. Believe it or not, the ‘hog scalder’ use as a marketing ploy was more effective than the ‘bathtub’ aspect.

old bath tub

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Anyone that has grown up on a farm likely did their own butchering (this includes me) knows the tedium of hog-scalding and the advantages thereof, although we never used a bathtub for this. We used a 55-gallon barrel laid upon an angle and staked firmly in place with metal posts on all sides and filled to capacity with scalding hot water. The hog’s body was inserted in the hot water to scald the outer flesh and hair, making cleaning the butchered hog very efficient. Thinking back, a bathtub in the conventional sense but used outdoors for this purpose would have also be very effective and efficient.

Ducks in da Tub

ducks in a bath tub with a housecat watching over them

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We used to use the bath tub for washing just about anything that couldn’t be washed anywhere else. Hand-washing of small to medium-sized floor rugs too large or too dirty for the laundromat, removing mud from soiled boots, tricycles or strollers. And back on the farm yes, even as a place to float some baby ducklings!

Ducks and Tubs Go Together

close-up of two ducks in a bath tub, a wild black duck and a yellow domestic variety

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The modern tubs are designed to fill with both hot and cold taps, have an overflow drain near the top and a drain with a plug at the bottom. Their shape was generally rectangular but new materials and modeling techniques have been producing more ‘free-form’ designs.

A Place For Privacy?

another 'Stickman' cartoon, by author 'thestickman'

(image by author)

-I wouldn’t count on it! No privacy to be had here.

Kat Katches Dripz

cat drinking from the end of a water faucet

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I suppose that this is better than drinking from the toilet. Cats are particular about things that move, a dripping water faucet is a good example. I used to raise Australian Bearded Dragons and they too enjoying the drip-drip-drip of the water faucet. I’d place them into an empty tub and set the facet to produce a drip once every few seconds and they would be interested for hours. This gave me time to disassemble their cages and wash them thoroughly outside with ammonium-laden sudsy water and the garden hose.

Bubble Bath Paints for Kids

tub painting by a child using soap-paint

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Play time for kids. Safe soaps with brilliant colors, kids love to ‘paint’ in the bath tub. Of course they did not have these products when I was that small. We had ‘soap on a rope’ and ‘fuzzy-wuzzy’ though. Soap on a Rope is self-explanatory, but ‘fuzzy-wuzzy’ was a soap that not only grew ‘soap fuzz’ on its surface after having been used and allowed to dry, but it encapsulated a special and highly-coveted kid-friendly plastic toy in the center! Ahh . . . I recall many baths with this novelty soap and seeking the plastic toy in the fuzzy-wuzzy. It made bath time fun!

Guard Cat on Duty

cat of the edge of a bath tub, protecting a bathing child

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I had a cat that used to do this. He would sit of the edge of the tub while I was taking a bath. I guess the cat was guarding me. I just love those green eyes of this cat!

When Good Tubs Go Bad…

an old bath tub sticking out of an upper-level apartment window, ready to fall to the street below

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This looks like an accident waiting to happen. Look up below! Thing will make a terrible noise when it hits the pavement below. I wonder, will a cast iron tub shatter like glass or fold-up on impact?

Alternative Uses for Tubs

an old bath tub being used as a lily-pad pond, with many aquatic plants

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Oh how many times have we used old tubs this way! I had a small aquatic nature-park in my parent’s backyard. Several old bath tubs filled with water and housing hundreds of tadpoles, frogs, a dozen painted turtles, and fish. My best friend and I discovered fresh water clams in the creek behind the school and during our lunch break would go out there and dig around in the mud and muck at arm’s length and fish out dozens of thumb-sized freshwater clams. I carried a long tubular olive bottle or two and was bringing these clams home, stocking the old farm pond behind my dad’s barn, my indoor fish tanks were stocked and of course, keeping my backyard bathtub fish tanks well filled with water creatures.

Private Relaxation Time in the Bath Tub

an artful pose of a woman lying in the clear waters of a bath tub as viewed from above

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Artful, sensual and lovingly erotic, is there anything in this world as delightful as getting clean and enjoying the warm water in the privacy of your own home? The bath tub has come into its own. A cup of hot tea, a book or magazine and no kids at the door . . . .

Ah! A Nice Hot Bath!

close-up relaxing view of the suds-covered foot of a bather with an open book lying face down in the background

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Peace on Earth seems possible during moments like this.


Janet Hunt
Posted on Sep 20, 2009
Posted on Sep 20, 2009