You get out of bed in the morning, stretch, and shuffle to the bathroom. Through sleepy eyes, you turn on the shower and stifle a yawn. You hop in and let the warm water flow through your hair and down your shoulders, bringing you back to life. This is the average morning routine. Get up, shower, and finish getting ready for your day.
But did you ever stop to wonder, where did that shower come from? Who thought of using it? The answer may surprise you.
THE EARLY DAYS
And then again, maybe it won’t. The earliest showers that are known to us is an all natural waterfall. Falling water rinsed dirt and debris off of bathers and proved more efficient than using a traditional washtub. The ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamian people recreated their waterfall experience by creating indoor shower rooms where servants would pour water over the bather in privacy. These were reserved, however, for the upper class and remained tedious due to the need to tote the water all the way to the shower room.
The Greeks and Romans were the first civilizations to use showers in the more traditional sense. Communal shower rooms were used by all citizens and were accompanied by both aqueducts and sewage systems to allow for water to be pumped in and disposed of more efficiently.
A MORE MODERN APPROACH
Englishmen William Feetham patented the first mechanical shower in 1767. The shower used a hand pump that would force water into a vessel above the user’s head. The person would then pull a chain which would release the water. It still wouldn’t pass today’s standards, however. The new invention failed to use hot water and was designed to recycle the dirty water that was already used.
Shower design continued to evolve as public health and cleanliness increased. By the 19th century, personal hygiene was a major concern. In 1889, Edwin Ruud invented the electric water heater, making piping hot showers a possibility. With the advice of scientists of the era, people started bathing more frequently and taking personal hygiene seriously.
The 20th century brought us what we know today as showers. In fact, if you look at designs from the early part of the century, you might be surprised at how similar they look to today’s designs. The size and shape of the holes in the shower head correlated to the pressure of the water that would be sprayed. Showering became a part of the population’s daily routine.
While the standard fixed shower head design is not so different from that of our forefathers’, there are many more styles for us to choose from now. Hand held shower heads offer flexibility. You can use the longer hose and hand held design to easily clean dogs, children, even the shower itself. It also can provide a more satisfying shower experience to anybody suffering from mobility issues allowing caregivers or those needing a seated shower more comfort and adaptability. The design also allows you to conserve water by focusing the spray exactly where you need it.