Fornalha de banhos romanos

Fornalha de banhos romanos


O sistema hipocausto

O sistema hipocausto (hipocausto em latim) era um sistema de aquecimento usado em ricas casas romanas e banhos romanos e o mais próximo de aquecimento central hoje. O hipocausto era um sistema que fazia o ar quente circular sob o piso e as paredes ao redor.

Construção hipocausto

Um hipocausto nos Banhos Romanos,
Bath, UK CC BY-SA 3.0

As casas romanas com sistema de hipocausto tinham uma fornalha que aquecia o ar. O piso foi elevado acima do solo por pilares chamados pilae para que o ar quente pudesse circular por baixo. O piso consistia em uma camada de ladrilhos, seguida por uma camada de concreto e, em seguida, por outra camada de ladrilhos. Havia também canos de ladrilho ou argila sob as paredes, que circulavam o ar quente para o chão e as paredes dos quartos. O ar quente finalmente escaparia do telhado. As paredes tinham ladrilhos de cerâmica para manter o calor. Os romanos também se certificaram de que o ar quente e a fumaça não vazassem do chão e das paredes, o que era uma façanha de engenharia considerando os materiais usados ​​na época. É importante notar que um piso com vazamentos era perigoso e poderia até causar a morte, pois o monóxido de carbono é inodoro e tóxico.

Os romanos colocaram as salas que exigiam mais calor perto da fornalha, e eles aumentariam o calor adicionando mais lenha. Nos banhos romanos, esta sala era chamada de caldário. No livro dele De architectura, Vitruvius descreve a construção do hipocausto para os banhos públicos e como os romanos podiam economizar combustível construindo a sala quente para os homens (o caldário) ao lado de mulheres, com ambos os quartos adjacentes ao tepidário.

Operação e custo do sistema hipocausto

É importante notar que a maioria dos romanos poderia experimentar as alegrias de tal sistema de aquecimento simplesmente visitando o termas ou os banhos romanos quentes, onde paredes e pisos eram aquecidos. Os Banhos Antigos de Pompeia são um excelente exemplo desses banhos públicos.


O sistema de aquecimento dos banhos romanos.

Os sistemas de aquecimento por piso radiante são amplamente utilizados hoje. Eles são preferidos porque fornecem uma distribuição homogênea da temperatura na área a ser aquecida. A origem desses sistemas é o sistema de aquecimento hipocausto dos banhos romanos. Neste estudo, após fornecer informações gerais sobre os banhos romanos e seus sistemas de aquecimento, alguns estudos experimentais, teóricos e numéricos são introduzidos.

Embora a origem do sistema de piso radiante moderno seja o sistema de hipocausto usado no Império Romano, os primeiros exemplos primitivos do sistema de hipocausto usado com banheiras podem ser vistos na época helênica. Pode ser que o início da ação do banho esteja nos tempos pré-históricos, e os banhos foram formados em qualquer lugar fechado, como cavernas, cabanas ou tendas (Brodner, 1983). Os vestígios mais antigos de um sistema de aquecimento do período helênico estão no Vovins Bath, em Chipre, que data do século V aC. Existia um sistema de aquecimento com fogão no primeiro período do banho em Olympia. Depois disso, o sistema hipocausto foi usado no quarto período do banho no segundo e primeiro século aC. Outro exemplo de banho aquecido é o de Delfos, datado do final do século V aC e início do século IV. O gás de combustão do fogão fluía por tubos de tijolos e aquecia o chão, a banheira e a água (Abbasoglu 1982).

A evolução técnica foi a razão para o aumento do interesse pelo banho até o final do período helênico, especialmente a construção de banheiros em ginásios. Com a ajuda de técnicas gregas e a influência dos hábitos gregos nos costumes e uso romanos, os romanos também aprimoraram as técnicas arquitetônicas: os sistemas de aquecimento, trazendo o abastecimento de água e os sistemas de descarga (Abbasoglu 1982). Desta forma, a cultura do banho foi importante e passou a fazer parte da vida cotidiana da civilização romana. Os banhos foram desenvolvidos e as termas (banho romano) surgiram e substituíram o ginásio grego. Filantropos e pessoas ricas construíram esses banhos e os deixaram ser usados ​​por outras pessoas na mesma área. Assim, os banhos começaram a se espalhar por Roma e outros estados do Império com números crescentes, especialmente no período agostiniano, 14-17 DC. Na época do Império, os banhos de máximo tamanho e luxo tiveram um papel importante na vida social de Roma. Os banhos simbolizavam o que significava ser um cidadão romano do ponto de vista dos povos bárbaros dos países conquistados (Ulusans 2003).

O sistema hipocausto foi usado por Sergius Orata no primeiro século aC de acordo com Vitrivius (DeLaine 1988). Exemplos em Chipre, Olympia e Delphi mostram que o sistema era usado desde o período helênico, antes de Sergius Orata. Orata poderia ser aceito como o melhorador e aplicador, mas não o inventor do sistema hipocausto, e ele se tornou famoso e rico com essas obras.

O primeiro estudo detalhado dos banhos romanos é feito por Krencker et al. (1929). Embora tenha havido muitos estudos sobre os banhos romanos desde então, o sistema hipocausto não foi descrito em detalhes, exceto nos estudos a seguir. Kretzschmer (1953) investigou experimentalmente um banho que era semelhante a um banho do período romano. A banheira, construída em 1902, possuía sistema de hipocausto e também foi utilizada para o estudo de Huser (1979). Jorio (1978-79) e Rook (1978) usaram os resultados experimentais de Huser para analisar termicamente os banhos Stabiane e Welwyn Villa, respectivamente. Thatcher (1956) reconstruiu os Banhos do Fórum com cinco grandes salas aquecidas e descreveu a condição de cada sala. Basaran e Ilken (1998) usaram modelagem de computador para estudar o Pequeno Banho em Phaselis. Outro resultado da modelagem sobre o sistema de aquecimento do banho romano em Metrópolis foi apresentado por Basaran et al. (2005).

SEÇÕES DOS BANHOS ROMANOS

Os banhos romanos têm muitas seções para finalidades diferentes, como pode ser visto na Figura 1. O apodério, que é a maior sala dos banhos, é o vestiário que às vezes inclui a entrada, e as paredes possuem nichos nos quais os banhistas se preparam para o banho de banheira.

O frigidário é um banheiro frio, com piscinas de água fria no centro ou nas paredes. As piscinas são chamadas natatio ou piscina, dependendo se estão localizadas dentro ou fora. Depois do frigidário, há uma sala quente chamada tepidário. Geralmente é aquecido pelo sistema de hipocausto usando o gás de combustão. Se não houver uma sala projetada para operações como lubrificar e massagear o corpo, o tepidário é usado para essas finalidades.

O lugar mais importante nos banhos é o caldário, a sala quente. Vitruvius aconselhou que esta área seja construída no lado sul do edifício para aproveitar ao máximo o sol. Alguns banhos têm uma sala de sudorese, o sudatório, que tem a temperatura mais alta e a umidade relativa mais baixa. As pessoas podiam sentar-se nesta atmosfera quente e seca e depois mergulhar numa piscina fria. Em Roma e no sul da Itália, os banhos eram pequenos retiros isolados de dimensões modestas, mas no leste, mais ênfase era colocada na transpiração e os banhos eram maiores (Dictionnaire 1963). Alguns banhos também possuíam um ginásio integrado para a prática de jogos e esportes, podendo haver alguns locais extras como o Salão das Musas (Figura 1).

Os romanos costumavam ir aos banhos depois do almoço, seguido de uma sesta entre as 14h00 e as 15h00. Os banhos eram fechados à noite em Roma no primeiro século DC, mas os banhos fora de Roma eram abertos à noite. Os restos de lâmpadas nas escavações de alguns banhos são uma clara evidência disso. Os primeiros banhos romanos tinham duas seções separadas para homens e mulheres. Mais tarde, homens e mulheres tomaram banho juntos até que foi proibido por Adriano por causa de alguns escândalos (Carcopino 1956).

Geralmente, os banhos romanos na Anatólia eram semelhantes aos de Roma, mas devido ao uso de materiais domésticos, diferenças técnicas regionais e necessidades sociais, a Anatólia era diferente dos outros estados do Império. Essas diferenças também podem ser vistas nas diferentes regiões da Anatólia. Por exemplo, no oeste da Anatólia, um complexo de banho-ginásio era comum, já que as pessoas dessa área conheciam bem o ginásio helênico. Na Anatólia, alguns dos mesmos edifícios ou similares foram usados ​​posteriormente no Período Bizantino. Os banhos turcos também foram construídos sob influência bizantina (Akok 1968).

O sistema hipocausto era formado por suportes, chamados pilae (1), conforme mostrado na Figura 2. Esses suportes eram geralmente quadriláteros ou cilíndricos e feitos de tijolo e calcário. A altura do sistema de hipocausto (2) era geralmente construída alta o suficiente para que uma pessoa da limpeza ficasse entre as estacas quando surgisse um problema (Akok 1968). Tijolo e argamassa horasan eram os constituintes do piso sobre o sistema de hipocausto. Ao cobrir o solo ao longo do sistema hipocausto, os gases de combustão surgiam do carvão e / ou da madeira queimada em uma fornalha chamada praefurnium (3), que também fornecia o aquecimento do banho.

A água foi aquecida em tanques de cobre ou bronze (4, 5) acima da câmara de combustão do forno. O gás de combustão quente também aquece a água da piscina (6) através de chaminés (7) colocadas nos cantos da sala, que fornecem o fluxo de gás de combustão. Junto com o aquecimento pelo solo, muitos banhos também eram aquecidos pelas paredes por elementos estruturais denominados tubuli (8), que geralmente eram feitos de tijolos, ou deixando um espaço entre as paredes interna e externa da banheira.

ESTUDOS QUE ANALISARAM O SISTEMA DE AQUECIMENTO DOS BANHOS ROMANOS

Um edifício semelhante aos banhos do período romano foi construído na Alemanha em 1902 (Figura 3). Com a participação da alemã Kaiser, entrou em operação. Posteriormente, de 27 de dezembro de 1951 a 3 de outubro de 1952, Kretzschmer (1953) voltou a operar o sistema para fazer algumas observações experimentais. As isotérmicas foram desenhadas tomando medidas de temperatura em muitos pontos (Figura 4).

Kretzschmer também mediu as temperaturas no forno em diferentes pontos e na saída do forno, como pode ser visto na Figura 5. Ele calculou a transferência de calor do sistema de hipocausto para a sala usando valores aproximados, que eram 70 [degrees] F ( 21 [graus] C) para a temperatura ambiente e 140 [graus] F-145 [graus] F (60 [graus] C-63 [graus] C) para a temperatura do gás de combustão no sistema de hipocausto (Kretzschmer 1953).

O estudo de Huser foi reconstruído com base no experimento de Kretzschmer no mesmo banho. Seu relatório continha valores semelhantes para a compreensão do sistema de aquecimento dos banhos romanos. Ele também mostrou a distribuição da temperatura no chão e nas paredes. A temperatura média do piso era 64 [degrees] F (18 [degrees] C) e a temperatura do chão perto do forno era 100 [degrees] F (38 [degrees] C) em seu estudo. Ele também mediu a temperatura na fornalha e no sistema de hipocausto em função do tempo (Huser 1979).

Jorio produziu um valor de pelo menos 15 lb (7 kg) de madeira por hora para atingir uma temperatura ambiente de 95 [degrees] F (35 [degrees] C) para o caldarium dos Stabian Baths em uma área de 1.227 [ft. sup.2] (114 [m.sup.2]) (Jorio 1978-79). Rook deu 29 libras (13 kg) de madeira por hora para todos os Banhos da Villa Welwyn com o caldário a 158 [graus] F (70 [graus] C) e o tepidário a 131 [graus] F (55 [graus] C) mas em uma área de apenas 161 [ft.sup.2] (15 [m.sup.2]) (Rook 1978). Brodner, na analogia dos banhos turcos com as saunas finlandesas, sugeriu temperaturas de 73 [graus] F-77 [graus] F (23 [graus] C-25 [graus] C) para o tepidário, 90 [graus] F-91 [graus] F (32 [graus] C-33 [graus] C) para o caldário e 99 [graus] F (37 [graus] C) para o sudatório (Brodner, 1983).

Basaran e Ilken (1998) estudaram o Pequeno Banho em Phaselis localizado a sudoeste da Anatólia na Baía de Antália (na Figura 6, A é o sudatorim, 7,9 x 13,1 pés [2,4 x 4 m] B, C e D são o caldário , 36,1 x 18 pés [11 x 5,5 m] e T é o tepidário, 30 x 13,6 pés [9,15 x 4,15 m]). A perda de calor do banho reconstruído foi calculada e a taxa de fluxo de massa do gás de combustão foi determinada. A temperatura de projeto e a condutividade térmica dos diferentes materiais arquitetônicos foram estimados, e os coeficientes de convecção para diferentes superfícies foram determinados. Um programa de computador baseado no método das diferenças finitas (Chapra e Canale 1988) foi preparado, e a distribuição da temperatura nas diferentes superfícies, a transferência de calor para o banho e a variação da temperatura dos gases de combustão foram calculadas.

Os restos do Pequeno Banho em Phaselis estão em melhores condições do que muitos banhos romanos. Na reconstrução do banho, critérios arqueológicos e arquitetônicos foram levados em consideração, mas para facilitar a análise, alguns parâmetros foram assumidos neste estudo (Basaran e Ilken 1998). Após a reconstrução das seções aquecidas do edifício, as perdas de calor das diferentes partes do banho foram calculadas e a vazão mássica do gás de combustão que sai do forno foi determinada (Figura 6).

O programa de computador, que foi escrito usando o método de iteração de Gauss-Seidel (Chapra e Canale 1988), foi resolvido e as distribuições de temperatura e transferência de calor do sistema de hipocausto para o banho foram calculadas. A distribuição da temperatura do piso do tepidário é dada como exemplo na Figura 7. A transferência de calor do sistema hipocausto e da parede para as seções do banho foi determinada como 12.590 Btu / h (3,69 kW) (Basaran e Ilken 1998).

As seções da sala quente do banho romano na metrópole antiga (Figura 8) aquecidas pelo sistema de hipocausto foram projetadas e analisadas numericamente no estudo de Basaran et al. (2005). A análise energética dos locais aquecidos do banho foi obtida usando um código comercial (Fluent 1998). Como resultado da execução do código, as distribuições de temperatura do gás de combustão e as superfícies do banho foram determinadas, a distribuição da velocidade do gás de combustão foi obtida e a quantidade de calor transferida para o banho a partir do gás de combustão no hipocausto foi calculado (Basaran et al. 2005).

Metrópolis fica no oeste da Anatólia, entre Izmir e Éfeso. Embora o primeiro assentamento na área tenha sido no período Neolítico, Metrópolis se desenvolveu no período helênico, século III aC. Esse desenvolvimento continuou no período romano, e um dos períodos mais brilhantes foi durante a época do imperador Traiano (117-98 aC). Supõe-se que o banho romano integrado a um ginásio helênico foi construído neste período (Meric 2003). No estudo de Basaran et al. (2005), duas salas quentes (23 x 18,4 pés [7 x 5,6 m] e 25,3 x 29,9 pés [7,7 x 9,1 m]) do banho romano na metrópole antiga (Figura 9) foram reconstruídas e analisadas termicamente usando o código comercial . Primeiro, as seções da sala quente do banho foram reconstruídas e modeladas para estudo numérico. A temperatura de entrada do gás de combustão através do sistema de hipocausto foi assumida, e a pressão de saída do gás de combustão das chaminés foi medida à pressão atmosférica. A quantidade total de madeira queimada em dois fornos foi assumida usando dados de Kretzschmer (1953), Huser (1979) e Basaran e Ilken (1998). Assim, a taxa de fluxo do gás de combustão foi calculada e usada no código como um dado de entrada. Além disso, as condições de contorno externas do banho foram definidas no código. Nessas condições, a análise da energia do banho foi obtida com o Fluent (versão 5.3). Como resultado da execução do software, as distribuições de temperatura nas superfícies do banho e a perda de calor do banho foram determinadas e os vetores de velocidade dos gases de combustão foram obtidos (Basaran et al. 2005).

As distribuições de temperatura dos elementos de suporte nos caldários pequenos e maiores são mostradas na Figura 10. A temperatura volumétrica média do gás de combustão foi encontrada em 106 [degrees] F (41.3 [degrees] C). A temperatura do gás de combustão era relativamente mais alta ao redor de cada forno em duas seções, então os valores de temperatura diminuíram dependendo da temperatura do gás de combustão em todo o sistema de hipocausto (Basaran et al. 2005).

As distribuições de temperatura de todas as superfícies aquecidas do banho são mostradas juntas na Figura 11 (a altura total do banho era de 14,8 pés [4,5 m]). Nessa circunstância, a temperatura volumétrica média do ar interno foi calculada em 63,8 [graus] F (17,7 [graus] C), que era bastante pequena, devido ao volume relativamente grande sob a estrutura semicircular do telhado. A temperatura do ar fora do telhado foi presumida em 32 [degrees] F (0 [degrees] C), embora as outras superfícies do banho afetassem o ar a 68 [degrees] F (20 [degrees] C). O efeito de convecção natural não foi considerado dentro do banho devido à sua complexidade. Esse efeito obteria uma distribuição de temperatura mais homogênea dentro do banho. Não houve transferência de calor na parede das áreas semicirculares do banho. A temperatura relativamente mais alta na parede próxima à saída do gás de combustão pode ser vista claramente na Figura 11. Por outro lado, o calor da parede do outro lado das seções não foi visto como eficaz, pois o gás de combustão não conseguiu alcançar a lacuna entre as paredes interna e externa (Basaran et al. 2005).

Os vetores de velocidade do gás de combustão em todo o sistema hipocausto e com as lacunas nas paredes são mostrados na Figura 12. Os vetores de velocidade eram maiores relativamente nas seções transversais menores. O fluxo do gás de combustão das fornalhas para as chaminés pode ser seguido. Duas lacunas no sistema de hipocausto entre duas seções permitiam o acesso ao gás de combustão, embora a taxa de gás de combustão fosse insuficiente. Quase não havia vetores de velocidade nos lados opostos das chaminés, não havendo movimento dos gases de combustão como visto na Figura 12 (Basaran et al. 2005).

Como outro resultado da execução do software, as temperaturas médias de saída do gás de combustão foram determinadas como 82,2 [graus] F (27,9 [graus] C) para o caldário maior e 82,6 [graus] F (28,1 [graus] C) para o pequeno caldarium. A perda total de calor de duas seções do banho para o exterior foi de 2.833 Btu / h (830,3 W). Esse valor foi substituído do gás de combustão quente no sistema de hipocausto e da lacuna nas paredes. O valor total da perda de calor parecia ser pequeno para tal edifício, mas sob algumas suposições, como superfícies isoladas, paredes e telhados bastante grossos e temperatura externa relativamente alta, esse valor pode ser considerado suficiente (Basaran et al. 2005).

O estudo científico determina diferenças na mesma disciplina e também determina os pontos comuns em diferentes disciplinas. Neste estudo, algumas análises térmicas de diferentes banhos foram realizadas após estabelecer uma relação entre diferentes disciplinas. De acordo com essas análises, as seguintes conclusões podem ser obtidas:

* Existe uma grande diferença entre a transferência total de calor para o banho do sistema hipocausto e o valor de aquecimento da madeira ou carvão. A eficiência do sistema parece ser inferior a 10% para todos os estudos mencionados aqui. Um enorme massacre de árvores deve ter acontecido naqueles tempos no ambiente de cada banho.

* As análises (Basaran e Ilken 1998 Basaran et al. 2005) foram feitas sob certas condições de estado estacionário. Os valores obtidos mudam ao longo do dia e da estação. Embora a banheira não tenha sido utilizada, deve-se mencionar que a fornalha continuou funcionando o tempo todo devido à inércia dos enormes elementos arquitetônicos da banheira.

Esses banhos haviam sido usados ​​pelos banhistas romanos muito bem nessas circunstâncias. Embora tenham ocorrido algumas diferenças entre os estudos (Kretzschmer 1953 Huser 1979 Jorio 1978-79 Rook 1978 Thatcher 1956 Basaran e Ilken 1998 Basaran et al. 2005), esses resultados foram próximos o suficiente para as condições de banho consideradas na analogia dos banhos turcos.

Abbasolu, H. 1982. Banhos romanos na região da Panfília (em turco). Tese de estabilidade, Universidade de Istambul.

Akok, M. 1968. Banho romano em Ancara (em turco). Turco. J. Archeol. 17: 1-9.

Basaran, T. e Z. Ilken. 1998. Análise térmica do sistema de aquecimento do Pequeno Banho na antiga Phaselis. Energia e Edifícios 27: 1-11.

Basaran, T., A. Erek, G. Uluans e A. Ersoy. 2005. Análise de energia do banho romano em Metrópolis. Segundo Simpósio Internacional de Exergia, Energia e Meio Ambiente, de 3 a 7 de julho, Ilha de Kos, Grécia.

Bayhan, S. 1990. Priene, Miletus, Didyma. Istanbul: Keskin Color.

Brodner, E. 1983. Die Romischen Thermen und Das Antike Badewesen. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

Carcopino, J. 1956. Daily life in Ancient Rome. Londres: Penguin Books.

Chapra, S.C. e R.P. Canale. 1988. Métodos Numéricos para Engenheiros. Nova York: McGraw-Hill.

DeLaine, J. 1988. Pesquisa recente sobre banhos romanos. Journal of Roman Archaeology 1: 11-32.

Dictionnaire des Antiquites Grecques et Romaines. 1963. p. 217. Graz, Áustria: Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt.

Fagan, G.G. 2002. Banhando-se em Público no Mundo Romano, Universidade de Michigan.

Fluente. 1998. Fluent User Manual, Version 5.3. Líbano, NH: Fluent Inc.

Huser, H. 1979. Warmetechnische Messungen an Einer Hypokaustenheizung in der Saalburg. Saalburg Jahrbuch 36: 12-30.

Jorio, A. 1978-79. Sistema di riscaldamento nelle antiche terme Pompeiane. BullCom 86: 167-89.

Krencker, D., F. Kruger, H. Behmann e H. Wachtler. 1929. Die Trierer Kaiserthermen. Augsburg: Dr. Benno Filser Verlag.

Kretzschmer, F. 1953. Hypokausten. Saalburg Jahrbuch 12: 8-41.

Kretzschmer, F. 1964. Bilddokumente Romischer Technik. Dusseldorf: VDI-Verlag.

Meric, R. 2000. Metropolis 2000 Bulletin (em turco).

Meric, R. 2003. Metropolis, City of Mother Goddess (em turco). Istambul: Mas Matbaacilik.

Rook, T. 1978. The development and operation of Roman hipocausted banhos. Journal of Archeological Science 5: 269-82.

Thatcher, E.D. 1956. Os quartos abertos do Terme del Foro em Ostia. MAAR 26: 169-264.

Ulusans, G. 2003. Complexo de banho-ginásio de metrópole (em turco). Dissertação de mestrado, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turquia.

Tahsin Basaran é professor assistente no Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turquia.


Os romanos

Quando questionado por um estrangeiro por que se banhava uma vez por dia, um imperador romano teria respondido “Porque eu não tenho tempo para tomar banho duas vezes por dia!

Os romanos elevaram a experiência do banho a um nível mais alto. Eles construíram as primeiras instalações de spa em grande escala usadas por centenas de banhistas todos os dias. Os pequenos edifícios de banho, muitas vezes privados, eram chamados de balneae. O termo vem do grego balaneion (βαλανεῖον - “banho”). Os grandes complexos de banhos imperiais eram chamados de thermae (do adjetivo grego thermos (θερμός) - “quente”).

Embora os ricos tivessem seus próprios banheiros em casa, ainda preferiam ir aos públicos. O banho foi considerado um evento social de uma forma que dificilmente poderíamos pensar hoje. (Para saber mais sobre isso, veja os Banhos de Caracalla neste post).

O quão populares eram os balneários, poderíamos concluir do fato de que, em 33 aC, havia 170 deles (públicos e privados) somente em Roma. No final do século 4 DC, havia 11 públicos (alguns deles com capacidade de 2.000–3.000 banhistas por dia!) E 926 banhos privados na Cidade Eterna.

Em que consistia um banho romano normal?

O escritor romano Vitrúvio (século I aC) em sua obra “De Architectura” explicou o projeto de uma banheira romana. Normalmente era um edifício localizado no centro de jardins, passeios, palaestrae (recintos desportivos) e lojas.

A entrada principal era conhecida como apodério (do verbo grego apodyo (ἀποδύω) - despir, tirar). Era um grande vestiário com cubículos ou prateleiras onde as pessoas tiravam e guardavam suas roupas. Havia bancos dispostos ao longo das paredes para facilitar a despir-se. Textos antigos mencionavam que a sala não era um lugar muito seguro, pois os batedores de carteira vagavam por aí. Por isso, era mais sensato levar um dos escravos da casa ou contratar alguém da casa de banhos para cuidar da roupa durante o banho.

Uma vez despido, cada cidadão romano podia escolher por si mesmo em que ordem usar as instalações de banho. Alguns foram primeiro à palestra para se exercitar. Outros entraram no tepidário (do adjetivo latino tépido - “moderadamente quente, morno”) - sala quente com piso e paredes aquecidas. O calor do tepidário relaxou o corpo humano e o preparou para os próximos procedimentos.

Depois dessa sala, o banhista pode entrar no caldário (do verbo latino caleo - “ser morno ou quente”). Era uma sala muito quente e úmida localizada perto da fornalha - o sistema de aquecimento hipocausto que os romanos inventaram. No caldário, havia uma grande banheira ou uma pequena piscina com água quente. Um barril de água fria (labrum) foi colocado nas proximidades para os banhistas que queriam jogar água fria em suas cabeças.

Em um dos cantos do caldário, nas proximidades do braseiro de aquecimento, foram posicionados separadamente os laconia ou sudatoria - câmaras tipo sauna, secas e muito quentes sem presença de água, com a função principal de fazer o corpo suar excessivamente. De acordo com o historiador romano Cássio Dio (séculos II-III dC), o primeiro laconium foi introduzido em Roma pela mão direita do imperador Augusto - Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa em suas termas no lado sul do Panteão. Recebeu esse nome em homenagem aos espartanos, que disseram ter aceito apenas esse tipo de procedimento de banho.

Depois das salas mais quentes, o banhista pode se acalmar um pouco no tepidário e depois se aproximar do frigidário (do verbo latino frigeo - “estar frio, congelar”) - sala com uma grande piscina cheia de água fria usada para banhos de água fria e nadar. A água era abastecida por ralo dentro da bacia e reaproveitada na descarga dos vasos sanitários (latrinas) do complexo. As latrinas eram frequentemente equipadas com assentos de mármore sobre um canal de água raso na frente e anteciparam os banheiros modernos com descarga em quase dezessete séculos.

Como os romanos usavam os banheiros?

Todas as casas de banho em Roma (públicas ou privadas) funcionam com pequenas taxas a pagar por visita. A quantia em dinheiro foi relatada como uma quantia modesta, portanto, bastante acessível para quase todos na cidade. Às vezes, em determinados dias, os romanos ricos pagavam entrada gratuita para todos como parte de sua busca política pelos eleitores, tornando os banhos abertos para literalmente todas as pessoas na cidade.

As mulheres tiveram que pagar uma taxa mais alta do que os homens. Eles também eram obrigados a visitar os banhos em partes separadas (menores!) Do complexo de banhos ou a tomar banho em horários diferentes dos dos homens. Freqüentemente, o horário dos banhos femininos era estabelecido entre o início da manhã e o meio-dia (por volta das 13 horas). O intervalo de tempo entre 14 horas e a noite foi reservado para os homens.

As pessoas usavam os banhos de várias maneiras, de acordo com seus gostos e necessidades. Entre os procedimentos, muitas vezes eles faziam massagem (em salas especiais) ou caminhavam ou se exercitavam ou lanchavam e bebiam. Como o sabão era desconhecido, os romanos geralmente esfregavam óleo na pele e usavam um strigil - um instrumento especial plano e curvo - para raspar a sujeira.


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Uma das necessidades humanas mais básicas é o calor. Sem ele, os corpos não podem prosperar. Graças aos avanços da tecnologia e dos sistemas de aquecimento doméstico, atingir temperaturas confortáveis ​​é tão simples quanto apertar um botão. As civilizações antigas não eram tão simples. Para aqueles que migraram para as regiões mais frias do mundo, o sol não fornecia calor suficiente para viver. Por meio de pura engenhosidade, os primeiros ancestrais da humanidade aprenderam como aproveitar o poder do fogo, bem como usar a Terra e o sol para aquecer suas casas e reinos. Usando os princípios que esses antepassados ​​estabeleceram, os humanos desenvolveram sistemas de aquecimento que mantêm as famílias confortáveis ​​até mesmo nos invernos mais frios.

Linha do tempo dos sistemas de aquecimento doméstico

  • 1.900.000 AC: Humanos começam a usar fogo para cozinhar alimentos. Os arqueólogos acreditam que os humanos podem ter usado o fogo de forma controlada nessa época, mas as evidências disso remontam a cerca de 100.000 anos atrás. Nos arranjos mais antigos descobertos, os humanos criaram fogueiras centrais em casas que tinham aberturas no telhado para a fumaça escapar.
  • 42000 AC: Neandertais na Ucrânia moderna constroem lareiras usando ossos de mamute.
  • 7500 a 5700 AC: Neolítico Os assentamentos de Çatalhöyük na Turquia usam lares abertos em casas e prédios.
  • 3000 antes de Cristo: Colonos romenos usam braseiros para aquecer casas.
  • 2500 AC: Gregos na Roma antiga desenvolvem aquecimento central usando calor radiante. No Templo de Éfeso escavado, os arqueólogos descobriram canos no solo que faziam circular o calor produzido por um incêndio. Também há evidências de que o Império Romano usava sistemas de aquecimento central, como alguns edifícios, banheiros e casas de classe alta tinham hipocausto fornos que aqueciam espaços vazios sob pisos conectados a tubos nas paredes - a primeira forma de aquecimento radiante. Diferentes culturas também desenvolveram fornos semelhantes, que se tornaram mais eficientes com o tempo.
  • 400 AD: Após a queda do Império Romano, os métodos de aquecimento foram revertidos para lareiras de estilo mais primitivo.
  • AD 800: Aparecem pela primeira vez fogões de barro.
  • 1200 AD: Monges cistercienses na Europa cristã revivem o aquecimento central usando o desvio do rio e fornos a lenha. As primeiras chaminés também aparecem nesta época.
  • AD 1400: Os fogões de alvenaria surgem e tornam-se comuns por volta de 1500, altura em que as chaminés se tornam mais refinadas.
  • AD 1624: Louis Savot da França inventa a lareira circulante com a criação de uma grelha elevada que promove o fluxo de ar.
  • Início de 1700: Indivíduos na Inglaterra usam ar de combustão de um duto externo. Mais ou menos na mesma época, o russo Pedro o Grande aproveitou os primeiros sistemas de água quente e aquecimento de ar em seu Palácio de verão.
  • DC 1741: Benjamin Franklin inventa o fogão Franklin, que era mais eficiente do que outros fogões usados ​​na época.
  • Final de 1700: James Watt, da Escócia, desenvolve o primeiro sistema de aquecimento à base de vapor em funcionamento para sua casa, usando uma caldeira central e um sistema de canos.
  • AD 1805: William Strutt, da Inglaterra, inventa uma fornalha de ar quente que aquece o ar frio. O ar aquecido viajou por uma série de dutos e entrou nos quartos. Na mesma época, casas na França usavam fornos firetube de ar quente.
  • AD 1883: Thomas Edison inventa o aquecedor elétrico.
  • AD 1855: O russo Franz San Galli inventa o radiador, o primeiro grande passo em direção aos modernos sistemas de aquecimento central doméstico.
  • AD 1885: Warren Johnson patenteia o primeiro termostato.
  • Início de 1900: Albert March descobre Nichrome, o fio de filamento para torrar pão, tornando-se “o pai da indústria de aquecimento elétrico”.
  • 1919 DC: Alice Parker patenteia o primeiro sistema de aquecimento central.
  • AD 1935: Cientistas inventam aquecedores de parede de convecção forçada que usam fornalha a carvão, ventilador elétrico e dutos em toda a casa.
  • Final da década de 1940: Robert C. Webber cria a bomba de calor de fonte subterrânea de troca direta.
  • DC 1990: SolarWall inventa aquecimento solar de ar.
  • AD 2000: O avanço de tecnologias “inteligentes” permite que os proprietários regulem o calor em suas casas remotamente usando dispositivos eletrônicos.

Os sistemas de aquecimento doméstico de hoje são baseados em ideias e designs que datam das civilizações mais antigas do planeta. Thanks to forward thinkers throughout history, safe, effective heat is only as far away as the thermostat or a smartphone. At AAA Heating & Cooling, we want to make sure your home is as comfortable as possible throughout the year. Contact us today to learn more about the home heating systems available.


A Brief History of the Bathroom

Read the fascinating history of a room that we often take for granted.

The privacy, comfort, luxury and extreme sanitary conditions that we associate with our bathrooms today are the result of thousands of years of civil engineering and social change. Indoor plumbing, flushing toilets, heated water, water pressure, electricity and ventilation may be features we take for granted in our modern bathroom. But all of our bathroom’s high tech gadgets had a long history in the making. Although humans have always had the need to use toilet facilities and have used bathing as a way to cleanse themselves, it took centuries for our culture to bring these two important functions together into one convenient room. Let’s explore the fascinating history of the bathroom and see how much, or how little, has changed.

Ancient Societies and Public Bathing

When we talk about the activities we perform in our bathrooms today, we tend to speak of everything that relates to taking care of our bodies: washing, bathing, cleaning, relieving ourselves, manicuring our outer appearance…it’s a place we cleanse ourselves, ensure proper hygiene, and a place we prepare ourselves for the day. In ancient cultures, these tasks weren’t necessarily performed all in the same room. In many societies, the toilet was a function performed far away from the home. And cleaning or bathing the body was performed in another area. Bathing played an important role in many societies as water was often used in religious or political ceremonies. Of course, each society had a unique version of cleansing let’s take a look at some well-known traditions.

Roma antiga

The famous Roman baths, and the ritual of bathing, was a tradition that extended as far as the Empire itself. Ruins of ancient Roman baths have been found in England, Northern Africa and the Middle East. To the Romans, bathing was a public ritual, an opportunity to socialize, take care of the body, and rub elbows with the elite. Similar to our modern day golf club or country club, the Roman bath was considered absolutely mandatory for a certain class of people. Roman baths were derived from ancient Greek bathhouse design and usually featured large facilities in addition to smaller rooms. There was usually a reception area (apodyterium), a hot room (caldarium), a warm room (tepidarium), and a cold room (frigidarium) Some baths featured other rooms for steam, sauna or exercise. Men and women usually bathed separately and used different entrances. Because the Roman baths were such an integral part of their empire, its history and archeological sites have helped shed light on what life may have been like back then. Bathing, it seems, was performed for hygienic reasons, but also reflected a certain level of importance for the middle and upper classes. Some of the best-preserved ruins of a Roman bath can be seen in Rome and Pompeii.

Many Roman baths took advantage of natural hot springs but the Romans were also skilled civil engineers, with aqueducts supplying fresh water not only for agriculture and drinking fountains, but for baths as well. The bathhouses were so important for many cities that they often incorporated spaces for exercise, libraries, lecture halls and gardens. There was a therapeutic aspect to Roman bathing as well as an educational one.

The Baths of Caracalla were built between 212 and 219 A.D. by the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Image found here.

Middle East

The Romans introduced the idea of the public bathing throughout their empire, which included Northern Africa and the eastern Mediterranean countries. As the idea of public bathing slowly died out in the west, the east continued the tradition with their hammam, or public baths. One of the oldest surviving hammams is the Hammam al-Nahhasin located in Syria, which dates back to the 12 th century. Like ancient Rome, the hammams in the east were an important part of the culture and their presence seemed to signify a prosperous city. It was noted by medieval authors that ancient Baghdad had nearly 60,000 bathhouses at its height of prosperity. During the late medieval period, western travelers to the east re-discovered the public baths and introduced them back into European culture.

This Iranian public bathhouse, located in Kashan, Iran, was constructed in the 16th century. “Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse 2” by Adam Jones. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Baths in the West

European crusaders, who traveled to the east between 1095 and 1291, brought back home to England citrus fruits and herbs as well as the love of steam baths.

England in the Middle Ages favored steam baths and bathing, and many social activities took place in and around the “stews,” or baths. Men and women could bath together (however women may have covered their hair for decency). Dining, grooming and other social activities were common scenes at the stew (as depicted in the image below). Contrary to modern belief, the medieval people in England were quite clean. But like many trends, public bathing in England fell out of favor at the end of the 16 th century as the bagnios/bagno, or baths became associated with brothels. Another reason public bathing was falling out of favor was that the sudden increase in population was making it difficult to find clean water. As waves of disease hit Europe in the Middle Ages (the most famous being the Bubonic Plague otherwise known as the Black Death in 1347), it was believed that bathing, and exposing the body to water, may contribute to early death.

An English stew. Luxuries: A Bathhouse in Valerius Maximus’ Facta et Dicta Memorabilia (fol. 244), c. 1470, tempera and gold leaf on parchment. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin—Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Depot Breslau 2). Image found here.

Medieval Japan

The bathing rituals in medieval Japan were well documented by traveling Europeans who traveled to the islands. It was noted that bathing was not only common but encouraged, both for religious reasons and social ones. Like many ancient cultures of the time, bathing could have been centered on religious ceremonies. Zen monasteries used bathing to cleanse the body and mind as well as a place to meditate. It was common to see “charity” baths, donated and constructed by the wealthy for use by the poor.

In medieval Japan several types of therapeutic baths were used by all classes, many of these baths were created not necessarily because of wealth but because of geographical advantages. Natural hot springs were one type of therapeutic bathing (and is still being used today). Another type was rock bath, which originated near the Inland Sea. This was an early form of a steam bath, in which stone enclosures were heated and then poured over with salt water. The resulting steam and salt was thought to be therapeutic. A third type of bathing, the oven bath, was similar to a sauna or steam bath and found in the mountain regions. A clay hut, similar to a large oven, was heated with green branches. The ashes were raked away and a person would lie down inside on a mat that had been soaked in water. The heat and steam would be sealed off, resulting in a therapeutic steam/sauna experience.

An image depicting a Japanese medieval charity bath at a Buddhist temple, circa 1326. Image found here.

Ancient Toilets

Ancient civilizations most likely used both a portable system, like a chamber pot, and a public toilet system. Squat toilets, still in use today, have been discovered in Asia dating as early as 1500 B.C. Of course where you lived and your status within your society may have dictated the level of comfort or privacy of your toilet. Some ancient public toilets, like this one pictured below in Ostia Antica, Italy, give us a good idea about what toilet life was like back in the Roman Empire. For the most part, our modern concept of privacy when using the toilet is relatively new. It’s true that the most powerful or wealthy may have been able to use the toilet in relative privacy. But for the lower or middle classes, nearly all aspects of life was commonly shared. Like we explored in the history of the bedroom and kitchen, shared activities was a way to foster relationships, establish bonds and share communal life.

“Ostia-Toilets” by Fubar Obfusco – en.wiki. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

You can still see private toilet seats in European castles. Much like a modern port-a-potty, garderobes were a wood or stone seat in which the toilet debris could fall down a cute into a moat below. A medieval garderobe was much like a small closet, used to store clothing and other wearables. But some featured a stone seat for use as a toilet (like the one shown below). Medieval cities may have situated public toilets on bridges, so that the toilet debris could simply float away with the river. Ancient Romans were known for having chamber pots available during dining events (which could last hours). There is evidence of using natural materials (whatever was available in that region) for wiping. Sponges on a stick, rushes or weeds, or even pieces of linen cloth may have been used. And what you used, and how expensive it was to produce, would have reflected your status within society.

The garderobe shown at Peveril Castle, circa 1086. “Garderobe, Peveril Castle, Derbyshire” by Dave.Dunford. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Image found here.

16 th Century Europe: No baths, flushing toilets invented

The plague hit England 7 times in 200 years and greatly impacted public opinion of bathing, hygiene and cleanliness. In 1546 King Henry VIII shut down public bathhouses in England for good, blaming them for sickness. Instead of bathing to keep clean, it was thought that wearing clean linen next to the skin would make the body clean. As a result, laundry and washing became incredibly important (as well as time consuming) for the women in Tudor England. Brilliant white, as seen in portraits of the day, became a status symbol.

Image of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) showing off her brilliant white clothing. Painting by Marcus Gheeraerts.

Instead of bathing, white linen underclothes, soaking up toxins and smells, became the solution of keeping the body clean. Washing these linens was laborious. Soap was made from water poured over ash and boiled with mutton fat and herbs. This recipe created a ball of scented soap lye that could be rubbed on linen and clothing. A flat paddle, called a washing bat or beetle, was used to hit the clothing during the washing process – an old style of washing clothes. It is thought that Tudor children may have used these balls of soap and beetle bat in a game, like cricket. Urine was also used as a whitener or stain remover. Because bathing the body was a rare occasion, it was common for people to carry pomades made from citrus fruits, spices and vinegar that would help mitigate body odor. As far as other bodily hygiene was concerned, teeth were cleaned regularly with a paste made from cloves, salt, burnt toast or vinegar in various combinations.

A painting depicting 16th century laundry. Notice the beetles used to hit the clothing. Image found here.

There were basically three types of toilets in the Tudor period and who used them was decided entirely upon the status of that person. There were Great Houses of Easement or communal privies, which were public toilets for the lower class. These toilets, like the ones before them, were often situated over rivers and enclosed in a bridge-like structure. Chamber pots were used by the middle class and would have been emptied onto the street or river. Chamber pots were considered to be discrete and somewhat private, as the person could use them in their bedroom or whichever room they chose. Women wearing large skirts could actually place a chamber pot up their skirts and use the chamber pot in relative privacy. The wealthy royals used velvet-lined clothes stools with a chamber pot inside. They would be attended by servants who would bring the clothes stool to the person and then wheel them out when finished. Queen Elizabeth I even had a carriage for her clothes stool so that it could be brought with her wherever she went. The servants who would be chosen to attend to the semi-private chambers of the royal family, the Privy Council, played a very important role. The lord of the chamber (which later became Lord Chamberlain) was quite literally the person in charge of attending the king while on the toilet or while using the private chambers. Being physically close to the king had enormous privileges.

In 1596 a wealthy poet, and godson to Queen Elizabeth I, Sir John Harrington, invented Britain’s first flushing toilet. He published a book called A New Discourse of a Stale Subject, Called the Metamorphosis of Ajax. “Ajax” being a play on the Tudor word for toilet, “jax.” The basic engineering of this first flushing toilet isn’t too far different from today’s toilet and because of his relationship to the queen it was installed in the castle. Unfortunately, it was not a hit. The royals were used to the toilet being brought to them, and this new device could not be moved. The queen did not want to walk to a room specifically for using the toilet – that would have been seen as lewd and too obvious. Additionally, this toilet didn’t flush after every use and had no device to prevent fumes and smells from rising. So although this toilet design was incredibly inventive, it did not catch on among the wealthy. Still, Elizabethan London was becoming polluted with human waste. 180,000 people lived in London at that time and there became a strong need for fresh water to be piped into the city to help with the stench.

The 18 th century: The bathroom as a social place

Bathing was still not a daily ritual for many westerners during this time. As London was seeing the development of its first massive irrigation project being installed, the wealthy could pay for private fresh water taps to be placed into their homes. This did not mean that these homes had access to fresh water every day, however it did mean that bathing, cleaning and washing could be done more privately inside the home.

Across the pond, George Washington noticed that the hygiene of his troops was deplorable and feared that unsanitary conditions could lead to disease. He wrote to one colonel, “While you halt you will take every measure for refreshing your Men and rendering them as comfortable as you can. Bathing themselves moderately and washing their Cloathes are of infinite Service.” (source) In fact, the British Royalists who would visit the Colonists often remarked on their odor and deplorable, unsanitary conditions. Not used to the humidity of the American south, some British colonists did find time to bath in cold water if only to escape the heat of the summer. But bathing on a regular basis was not a common practice.

In Georgian London, many of the rituals that we perform in our bathrooms today were done in the bedroom. Washbasins, set on elaborately designed and expensive stands, would hold water for washing the extremities. This area of the bedroom would have also been used for makeup, perfume, putting on wigs and general dressing. Unlike our bedrooms and bathrooms of today, these dressing tables were places where social activities took place. It was common for men and women to get ready in their bedrooms while socializing with their friends. The rising middle class created a demand for interiors that reflected their rising status in society, and no shortage of money could be spent on lavish vanities. Although not considered private, this corner of the bedroom was essentially their bathroom.

A scene depicting entertaining while sitting at the vanity. In the 18th century it was common to get ready for the day in the bedroom while eating, writing letters and socializing. Image found here.

The wealthy may have spent lots of time and money putting on makeup, dressing in elaborate clothing and using copious amounts of perfume, but bathing for hygienic reasons still wasn’t popular. Medical knowledge of health and disease still was in an infant stage of discovery. There were some that believed bathing to be the source of disease, and others who believed that bathing could be therapeutic. Some doctors prescribed bathing only in cold ocean water, others prescribed bathing in hot springs. “Taking the waters” was a prescribed activity for the sick and many believed (and still believe) in the powers of natural mineral springs. In 1742 the Mineral Water Hospital was opened in Bath, England (which was originally used as a bath by the ancient Romans in 60 A.D.) and was used to treat the seriously ill. By 1801 the town of Bath had grown to 40,000, making it one of the largest cities in England.

1750-1900s: Industrial Revolution and the issues of removing waste

Flush toilets received a huge advancement in technology when in 1775 Alexander Cummings, a Scotsman, invented the S-trap. This device, still in use today, allowed for water to be trapped within the plumbing, preventing the escape of the stench from the sewers below. The flush toilet design continued to experience new experiments with designs and inventions throughout the 1850’s. One inventor, Thomas Crapper, developed a patent for a flush toilet design however he was not the sole inventor of the flushing toilet. And contrary to popular belief, his name is not where we get the word “crap.” (Crap was another word for rubbish.) Toilet designs were being introduced by a number of manufactures with names like “The Revolver,” “The Oracle,” “Deluge,” and “Dreadnought.” The great Expo of 1851 hosted in London showcased the very best of the rising Industrial Revolution and cast a wide influence on America. Gas lamps, the kitchen range, and all manner of technological advancements showed people how their life could be made easier and more comfortable with technology.

“Cummings S-bend” by Alexander Cummings invented in 1775. Original publication: Patent applicationImmediate source. Via Wikipedia . Image found here.

The popularity of the flush toilet inside the home was creating major problems for the waste system in major cities. Nowhere was this problem seen more than in London. Although the toilet was advancing in design, the ability for cities to both pump fresh water in and remove waste away, was not. Many cities throughout Europe and America stunk, and the need for an advanced sewer system became vital to public health. Although ancient cities, like Harappa, had a complex network of sewage drains dating from 2600 BC, it took the West a long time to construct an efficient way to remove waste (and stench) from booming cities. England, being the first to experience the industrial revolution, was the first to engineer the modern sewage system. London’s sewer system was begun in 1859 by Joseph Bazalgette, a civil engineer. In America, the sewer system was also begun in the 1850’s in Chicago and Brooklyn. The first sewage treatment plant in America was built in 1890 in Worcester, Massachusetts, when it became apparent that raw sewage could lead to epidemics of typhoid and cholera. Treating sewage prior to dumping it into the water system became the new method of removing waste.

The Crossness Pumping Station was designed by Joseph Balzalgette in 1859 as part of the development of London’s sewer system. Notice the Victorian iron work design. “Crossness Pumping Station, Belvedere, Kent” by Christine Matthews. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Image found here.

With a modern sewage system in place, newer homes were constructed with a dedicated toilet, sometimes several toilets. Plumbed water was added and the concept of the bathroom, or water closet, was created. But despite the convenience of a private bathroom, behavior didn’t change so quickly, especially in prim and proper Victorian England. For women, large hoop skirts were difficult to pull up when sitting on the toilet, and it was considered far more comfortable (and more discrete) to continue to use the chamber pot in the privacy of the large bedroom. And a lady wouldn’t have wanted to make a noticeable trip to the toilet – this would have been seen as immodest. But despite any old-fashioned beliefs of privacy, the need for indoor plumbing, particularly for the toilet, was becoming a necessity as cities became more populated and vertical. There was less and less space for public facilities and Victorian attitudes demanded sanitary conditions, even for the poor. The toilet, which had taken centuries to accept, had finally become considered a necessity to have, regardless of your status in society.

Health and hygiene were hot topics of the day, and with a flushing toilet and sewer system removing horrible stench, other demands were being created, like the need for toilet paper. When the toilets were simply holes in the ground, it did not matter much what you used to wipe yourself clean. But flushing toilets used pipes that were narrow and the plumbing couldn’t handle large wads of newspaper, corncobs, moss or catalog paper. Joseph Gayetty, from New York, invented the first paper product designed specifically for wiping in 1857. However it was expensive, and people didn’t immediately see the need to buy it. In 1890 Clarence and Irvin Scott designed a perforated roll of paper for use in the water closet. Their product was sold to hotels and other distributors with various names printed on the package. (Embarrassed by the “lewd” product, they didn’t even put their name on the package until 1903.) Americans were slow to make this new product a success, and were embarrassed to be seen purchasing a product specifically for the toilet. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that toilet paper sales began to take off, thanks in part to ad campaigns directed at women.

A vintage roll of Scott Tissue, invented by the Scott brothers in 1890. Image found here.

The Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries: Germs and hot water

The late 19 th century brought about advancements in technology as well as advancements in medicine. The discovery of germs and a more specific cause for disease changed the way people thought about cleanliness and hygiene. Taking a bath and cleaning the body with soap was now generally thought of as a necessity for good health. As more homes were plumbed for water and gas heaters became widely available, the middle class started to experience the joy of bathing inside the home. Lower classes living in dense tenement buildings still shared bathtubs, toilets and laundry facilities, with sometimes just a few toilets per building. It was common that the entire family shared one tub of water: the most important person of the household (the father) would bathe first, then the mother, then the children. The expression “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” probably came from this period of time when babies were bathing in the (most likely murky) bath water.

A 1905 advertisement for a shower. Image found here.

In America, homes of the wealthy were also being fitted with private bathrooms, bathtubs and showers but surprisingly, the wealthy upper class in England didn’t see the need for plumbed hot bath water. With servants to perform the laborious task of heating individual pots of water, there was no need to install expensive plumbing. American heiresses who married British royalty during the turn of the century must have found it odd that their new manor houses didn’t have plumbed bathrooms. Showers were also introduced during this time and initially they were operated with a hand pump. But by the 1850’s a properly plumbed home had sufficient water pressure and gas-powered heat to operate a shower very similar to our modern versions. By 1915, Sears Roebuck was selling showers for the home.

An ad from 1913 depicting sanitary and reliable plumbing fixtures for the home. Image found here.

The 20 th Century: Bathrooms as places of luxury and privacy

After World War I and II, the glamour of Hollywood movies and the rise of the middle class demanded certain luxuries in the bathroom. Like the kitchen, the bathroom was becoming a source of pride, especially for the woman of the house. Although hair and makeup vanities still largely remained in the bedroom, the bathroom was the scene for relaxing and taking care of one’s body. The aspirational housewife of the 1950’s, along with the US housing boom, meant en suite bathrooms for the parents and separate bathrooms for the children. There was a demand for color, pattern, tile and beauty in the bathroom. Escapism was another popular use of the bathroom and it represented privacy and retreat.

1923 bathroom fixture advertisement, showing glamour and beauty in the bathroom. Image found here.

A Bon Ami ad from 1935 depicting household pride in the bathroom. Image found here.

Post WWII America saw new technologies enter the home space on a massive scale. Inventions like hairdryers, ventilation fans, new dental and toiletry products and an increase in the makeup and hair industries flooded the bathroom. New neighborhoods, plumbed for hot water and connected to sewer systems, meant that having access to hot water was expected. The 1960’s saw the advent of the sexual revolution and Jacuzzi’s and sumptuous shaped tubs became commonplace. Styles of the bathroom continued to mirror societal and economic changes that were taking place. The number of bathrooms installed in US homes also increased. According to the US Census, in 1973 40% of homes being built featured 1.5 baths or less, and only 19% had 2.5 baths. In 2013, only 5% of newly constructed homes were built with 1.5 baths and 32% featured 2.5 baths (with another 33% having 3 baths or more).

By the mid-1900’s, homeowners expected running water in their homes. This ad from 1961 shows how the bathroom, now with plenty of access to water, could be a space for play. Image found here.

This bathroom from the 1970’s shows how interior design allowed for personal style to influence the bathroom. Image found here.

The bathrooms of today: Larger size and more technology

Today we see more and more technology entering the bathroom. Sensors for automatically turning on lights, multiple shower heads with programmable temperatures, stereo equipment and televisions, steam-free mirrors, refrigerated medicine cabinets and in-floor heating have certainly created spaces of extreme luxury and comfort. Bathroom styles of today range from relishing the handcrafted details of older styles (claw foot tubs, pedestal sinks) to the ultra modern (rain shower faucets, infinity edge bathtubs). Visit any bath fixture showroom and you’ll be astounded at the options for our bathrooms today. One of the most welcome features of today’s bathroom are the new standards for conserving water. As more US cities enter water year-round water restrictions, it’s important that homeowners recognize that bathrooms account for nearly 25% of household water consumption (you can take this interactive quiz to see how much water your home uses). WaterSense labeled toilets, for example, use just over 1 gallon of water per flush whereas toilets installed prior to 1995 use nearly 6 gallons per flush.

A large and fully-fitted master bathroom, designed in 2014. By Calista Interiors.

Modern bathrooms are also gaining in square footage. Today’s master bathrooms often include walk-in closets, dressing areas, his and her sinks, a shower and bathtub that can fit two people and a toilet. Often these master bathrooms offer commanding views out the window, just like our living rooms and kitchens. Homeowners also have the luxury of materials from all over the world, allowing us to truly personalize our bathroom space. Unlike bathrooms from the 18 th century, our bathrooms are quite private spaces. Homes are generally constructed with powder or guest bathrooms, so that our master bathrooms can remain off-limits to everyone except the owners of the home. Even older homes are being retrofitted to accommodate more private bathroom retreats. Some homeowners even give up an extra bedroom in order to expand their master suite to include a much larger, and more private bathroom.

Tell us what you think about bathrooms of today – where do you see trends moving? What bathroom features of the past would you like to see today?


The Story Behind the Roman Baths in Bath

The history of Bath is intrinsically linked with the natural hot springs that the city is founded upon. The first shrine at the site of the hot springs was built by an Iron Age tribe called the Dobunni, who dedicated it to the goddess Sulis (who they believed possessed healing powers). In 43AD Britain was invaded by the Romans and by 75AD they had built a religious spa complex on the site, which later developed into a bathing and socialising centre called Aquae Sulis, ‘the waters of Sulis’.

Using the hot mineral water that rose through the limestone beneath the city, channelled through lead pipes, the Romans created a series of chambers including the baths, ancient heated rooms and plunge pools. The baths were a huge draw and people travelled across the country to bathe in the waters and worship at the religious temple. After the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the early 5th century, the baths were neglected and fell into disrepair, before being destroyed by flooding.

In the 17th-century, doctors began to prescribe the drinking of the thermal waters for internal conditions and illnesses. The first Pump Room opened in 1706, allowing patients to access water directly from the spring – it’s now a beautiful restaurant!

It was in 1878 that Major Charles Davis – the city surveyor architect – discovered the Roman remains of the baths, and worked to uncover these over the next few years. The site was opening to the general publics in 1897 and has been excavated, extended and conserved throughout the 20th century. In 2011, the Roman Baths completed a huge £5.5 million redevelopment, to help with accessibility and to preserve it for the next 100 years.

The baths, and the accompanying museum which houses artefacts from the Roman period, attracts over one million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in England.


For Romans, bathing was not a private activity, and it wasn’t just about keeping clean. Public Roman bath houses (thermae) were more like today’s health spas, and they allowed the Romans to socialise, exercise and bathe.

Most Roman men and women would visit the bath houses daily. Women usually went early in the day (when the men were at work) and the men usually went after work.

The Romans tended to follow a set routine when they went to a bath house.

  • First they would get changed and oil their bodies. Male bathers would then go and do some exercise (such as weight-lifting, running, wrestling, ball games or swimming).
  • After exercise, the dirt and oil would be scraped off their bodies using a tool called strigil, and the bathing would begin. The Romans often started in the tepidarium (a warm room), then moved onto the caldarium (a very hot pool), before finishing in the frigidarium (the cold room).
  • After bathing, the Romans often went for a walk in the bath house gardens, enjoyed some food from the snack bar, or read a book in the on-site library.

Bath houses were designed to be pleasant places to spend time. They had mosaics, paintings, high ceilings and they allowed in a lot of natural light.

How were the baths heated?

The hypocaust was a heating system designed by the Romans. The floors of the bath house rooms were built on pillars, leaving a space below the floor and inside the walls. This space was filled with hot air from a furnace (called a praefurnium) and heated the room. The temperature could be increased by adding more fuel to the fire. In the hottest rooms of a Roman bath house, bathers had to wear special sandals to protect their feet from the hot floor-tiles.

Roman bath houses also contained public toilets. Marble seats were built over a continuously flowing water supply which would act as a flush.

This video clip provides some excellent information about the size of a bath house complex and clever engineering the Romans had to use to make them work.

For more information, check out this site all about the Roman baths in Bath, England, or take a look at the Primary Facts resources page for more Roman facts.


Roman Baths history

Discover more about the rich history of the Roman Baths where the continuous gush of hot mineral water, bursting from the ground, has always been a subject of wonder.

The water we see in the Baths today fell as rain on the Mendip Hills many hundreds or even thousands of years ago. It percolates deep down through limestone aquifers, heated by the earth's core and raising the temperature to between 64 -96 degrees. Under pressure the heated water rises to the surface at 46 degrees along fissures and faults through the limestone beneath Bath.

By the first century AD this part of Britain was occupied by an Iron Age tribe called the Dobunni. They believed that the hot spring was sacred to the Goddess Sulis who was thought to possess curative powers. In AD43 the Roman armies invaded Britain and by AD75 they had built a new religious spa complex around the thermal spring and the settlement then grew as a centre for health and pilgrimage. It was named Aquae Sulis meaning ‘the waters of Sulis’. To keep good relations with local people the Romans were sensitive to their gods and goddesses and the goddess worshipped at the temple here was known as Sulis Minerva combining Celtic and Roman elements.

The Romans built the baths using the 1.3 million litres of naturally-heated water that rose to the surface naturally each day. The baths combined healing with leisure and water was channelled through the baths using lead pipes and lead lined channels. Even the baths were lined with lead. People came from far and wide to bathe in the waters and worship at the temple.

In the fourth century, barbarian raids from Northern Europe and Ireland and political instability in the Roman Empire made trade and travel increasingly difficult. The number of visitors to Aquae Sulis declined, and at the same time flooding from the River Avon resulting from poor maintenance meant black mud began to cover everything. The Temple buildings collapsed and the roofs of the baths eventually crashed into the growing swamp.

By the twelfth century the King’s Bath, formed within the shell of the Roman reservoir chamber, was enclosed within the precincts of the post- Roman monastery. Medical practice promoted bathing in the thermal waters to cure ailments as belief in its power re-emerged in the legend of the prehistoric Prince Bladud: in the ninth century BC, it was said Bladud contracted leprosy but was cured by the thermal waters of Bath.

In the late seventeenth century doctors began recommending drinking the water as a remedy for internal conditions and the first Pump Room, opened in 1706, placed drinking prescribed quantities of the water at the heart of the emerging spa culture.

In 1878, the city surveyor architect Major Charles Davis, worried by a leak from the King's Bath spring, decided to explore the ground around it. In doing so he found Roman remains and by 1880 had uncovered large parts of the Great Bath. The site was opened to visitors in 1897 and throughout the 20th century was progressively extended, notably with the east baths in the 1920s and later when the Temple Precinct was excavated beneath the Pump Room in 1981-83. A new learning centre will be opened up for the public in an area of Roman remains to the south of the site, where several underground vaults and tunnels lead into some currently inaccessible remains from the Roman bath house and town.

Find out more:

  • Weddings at the Roman Baths and Pump Room - This very special venue is available for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
  • Dinners and receptions at the Roman Baths and Pump Room - All you need to know about hosting drinks and dinner at the Roman Baths and Pump Room.

To book a private event at the Roman Baths, please call 01225 477786 or complete our enquiry form.


Ancient Roman Bathhouse still in use today

Not many things are built to last these days, and the world is covered in the relics of the past, broken but still standing. In Algeria, however, one of these old buildings still remains.

Hammam Essalihine, or Bath of the Righteous, was constructed sometime during the reign of Roman Emperor Titus Flavius, between 79-81 AD, making the bathhouse nearly two thousand years old. Withstanding the ravages of time, wars, and even earthquakes, the ancient spa still stands as a monument to Roman era engineering.

Not unlike day spas of the modern era, bathing in natural hot springs was believed to confer both relaxation and health benefits for those who partook. Taking in the hot mineral-rich water at a thermae was an important ritual for those in the middle to higher levels of Roman society.

Hammam Essalhine (Aquae Flavianae) in the Aurès Mountains, Algeria. Photo by Ghezal Tarek CC BY 2.0

Not only would they partake in bathing, rubbing themselves down with oils, showering, and then scraping off the grime and dirt with a tool called a strigil, but the bathhouse also served as a food hall, gymnasium, library, and community center.

As all of these things were thought to be critical to the good health and well being of the Roman populace, the bathhouse provided all of them. They were even used in politics — if a candidate wanted to curry favor with their electorate, they would sponsor a free day at the local thermae in his name, so that all may, at least for that day, experience the wonder while thinking of him.

Hammam Essalihine. Photo by Batni

Hammam Essalihine sports several pools, though the main two are a large rectangular one for men that is nearly 46 feet long, over 30 feet wide, and nearly 5 feet deep, and a circular one for women, which has a diameter of 26 feet and is the same depth.

Even today, the site is a draw for both tourist looking to experience something akin to what the Romans did, and locals who take in the waters and discuss current events amid a relaxing environment.

Thankfully for those visiting the site today, Hammam Essalihine was built on preexisting hot and cold springs that provide it with its mineral-rich waters.

According to About Algeria, the water of the bathhouse-turned-modern-spa is pure and on average sits at a balmy 70°C, or 158°F. In less lucky locales, infrastructure like aqueducts and heating systems called hypocaust, pipes drawing water through tunnels filled with hot air from a furnace, would provide and heat the water for bathers.

The Rectangular Pool at the Roman thermal bath Aquae Flaviane “Hammam Essalhine”, Aurès Khenchela province, Algeria. Photo by Ghezaltar CC BY 2.0

The bath house is located in the El Hamma district, about six and a half miles from the capital city of Algiers.

According to the BBC Magazine, the region sports many Roman-era ruins and monuments, including Kemissa, an amphitheater, a Roman army garrison, and Tipasa, a town on the coast formerly known for its fish paste.

Hammam Essalhine. Photo by Ghezaltar CC BY-SA 3.0

Not many bathhouses dating to the Roman era are left in the world — only six remain in Algeria, and many that remain are mere ruins, in various levels of conservation or restoration. Unlike most, Hammam Essalihine remains largely as it was and operational, though according to Bored Panda, it can be difficult to get to.

So if you happen to be traveling in Algeria and are looking for something that is both rife with historical interest and majorly relaxing, it would be remiss if you didn’t swing by to take in a bath at Hammam Essalihine. The bath house is open 24 hours a day and is accommodating for both men and women.


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