A Brief History of the Hot Tub

Hot tubs (or spas) are becoming popular in homes around the country more than ever. However did you know that they have a history that goes back for centuries?

What Is A Hot Tub?

A hot tub is the name given to a pool or tub designed to accommodate several people at once. It is filled with heated water that usually features jets that massage the body. Sometimes, hot tubs are referred to as Jacuzzis, although this is actually a trade name. Although hot tubs are most commonly located outdoors, sometimes you can find them inside the home too. In the majority of hot tubs, the water is not emptied but is kept clean between uses in a similar way to a swimming pool.

The Earliest Hot Tubs

Some of the first hot tubs were found in Ancient Greece, for example at Ikaria where the remains of several tubs were found showing that hydrotherapy was very popular as long ago as the 4th century BC. The ancient Romans and early Japanese cultures also used hot baths, and in the Moorish culture in southern Europe during the medieval period, private bath suites were on the rise.

The 1950s and 1960s

Hot tubs as we know them didn't emerge in the USA until the 1950s when the Jacuzzi brothers designed a portable hydrotherapy pump in 1956 which was capable of turning any bath into a spa. During the 1960s, people in Northern California were so keen to install a hot tub in their home that they filled discarded wine making equipment such as barrels and vats with water allowing up to 30 people to enjoy the spa-like atmosphere at one time. Meanwhile in the south of the state, cement spas were attached to existing swimming pools and were individually designed making them extremely expensive. In 1968, the Roman whirlpool bath was invented which integrated plumbing and jets to bring it in line with the hot tub of today. By 1969, hot tubs started to be mass produced and were made from fiberglass, bringing them within reach of the average working person.

The 1970s and 1980s
Wooden hot tubs became popular in the 1970s, however they fell out of favor once plastic spas were developed in the 1980s. Because they were quick and easy to install, a dealer could fit up to 8 in a day. By 1988, the hot tub had soared in popularity to the point were 280,000 units were being sold annually.

Modern Hot Tub Developments

Although in the 60s and 70s the emphasis was primarily on enjoyment and partying, by the year 2000 more people were using hot tubs for hydrotherapy purposes. There have also been great strides in making new hot tubs more energy efficient and there are now many technological advances including added lighting, iPod docks, incorporated Wi-Fi, and even the ability to control the system using a cell phone. No wonder the hot tub is still a perennial favorite in many homes today.

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