We are lucky enough to have an outdoor hot tub in our backyard. I remember when we first came to see this house, I noticed something large and inviting outside. No it wasn't Gerard Butler or the new Conan actor! It was a lovely fibreglass hot tub. What a bonus!
Most people scoffed and said that we'd get tired of it and soon enough we wouldn't be using it much. I think that was just envy talking! Because we do use it a lot from about April to November. The first winter we tried to have it running, we nearly fainted from the electrical bills. So now it's 3 of the 4 seasons - which by Canadian standards is still pretty decent.
I got to wondering how this decadent item came to being. We can look all the way back to the Egyptians who used hot baths for therapeutic purposes. The earliest forms were called Caldera - hot stones in a vat of water. The ancient Greeks also used hot baths or mineral waters for medicinal purposes. But by Homeric time, hot tubs were primarily used for hygienic purposes. By Roman times the idea of the bath house was for cleaning and socialization.
Fast forward to the 1950, when the Jacuzzi brothers invented a hydrotherapy pump to treat a family member's arthritis. By 1968, Roy Jacuzzi had successfully marketed the first self-contained, fully integrated whirlpool bath. By the 1970's wooden tubs became problematic, so fiberglass shells began to appear. Larger units were designed for communal use along with heating and filtration systems to keep the water warm and clean.
Since the 1970's, hot tubs were very considered very groovy and almost sexual. Through the years we have always heard of notorious parties being held in bubbly tubs. It's a symbol of social decadence.
Here are some vintage and retro hot tubs being enjoyed by many...