Victorian Bathing Machines

bathing-machines-2photo credit: Vintage.es

The bathing machine was a device, popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, to allow people to change out of their usual clothes, change into swimwear, and wade in the ocean at beaches. They resembled wooden changing booths, with wheels and wooden steps that led inside. The bathing machine was part of etiquette for sea-bathing more rigorously enforced upon women than men but to be observed by both sexes among those who wished to be proper.

bathing-machines-4photo credit: Vintage.es

bathing-machines-5photo credit: Vintage.es

People entered the small room of the machine while it was on the beach, wearing their street clothing. In the machine they changed into their bathing suit, although men were allowed to bathe nude until the 1860s, placing their street clothes into a raised compartment where they would remain dry.
Bathing machines would often be equipped with a small flag which could be raised by the bather as a signal to the driver that they were ready to return to shore. According to some sources, the bathing machine was developed in 1750 in Margate, Kent by Benjamin Beale.

bathing-machines-10photo credit: Vintage.es

bathing-machines-3photo credit: Vintage.es

bathing-machines-11photo credit: Vintage.es

Bathing machines were most common in the United Kingdom and parts of the British Empire with a British population, but were also used in France, Germany, the United States, Mexico, and other nations. These machines remained in active use on English beaches until the 1890s, when they began to be parked on the beach. They were then used as stationary changing rooms for a number of years.
info source wikipedia

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A photo blog focused on the unique things of the world, exploring a number of different subjects such as art, photography, architecture and travel.

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