If you’re anything like me, then you know that hot tubs are just generally awesome. They offer so many benefits beyond just being “nice to sit in”. They provide arthritis relief, help with muscular issues and can even lower your blood pressure. But where did they come from? Who thought of creating a giant bath with a filter?
Stick with me as we walk (nerd-out) through the history of the hot tub.
2,000 B.C. - A.K.A Back in the Day
Thought hot tubs were new? Think again. Wealthy ancient Egyptians used early hot tubs for many of the same reasons that we use them now and would even add essential oils for aromatherapy. At that time though, they didn’t have foot jets and stereos so it was mostly for bathing. Nevertheless, it definitely beat taking a dip in the Nile River.
Slightly more industrious with their hot tubs, the ancient Greeks used their naturally occurring hot springs to their advantage. They would carve tubs out around the springs and use them for entertainment, to bathe and to heal people (no chlorine= gross).
Fast forward to the Roman Empire. As you probably know, the Romans were obsessed with baths and beauty. That in mind, they built massive aqueducts to allow for the construction of giant public baths. And, in 25 B.C., they even created the first “all-service wellness center”. This center included hot and cold baths, saunas, a gym and massage areas.
The Next Few Hundred Years
From the introduction of Japanese bathing culture to the resourceful Native Americans, the tradition carried on through the ages.
Because of the incredible benefits of hot water therapy, the hot tub trend only picked up speed and popularity as it continued on into the 19th century when spa resorts started popping up all over the world. Whether it was sanitary or not at that time is another story.
1960 - Now
To deal with increasing demand, fiberglass and acrylic spa shells made their debut in the 60’s. The fiberglass was short-lived though due to its fragility.
In the 80’s and 90’s, digital controls, synthetic skirting and more complex jets were added to the mix.
So much has changed since our early ancestors began the tradition. Today, spas can basically do everything except park your car. It’s definitely a far cry from being carved out of the side of a hill.
So there you have it! A (mostly) complete history of the origins of hot tubs. It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come with our technology and understanding of the benefits of hot water therapy.