Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
The 1900 House The Bathroom illustrationThe BedroomThe BathroomThe KitchenThe ParlorThe Scullery
Intro Medicine Cabinet Bathing Cleaning Teeth and Washing Hair Indoor Plumbing



The morning bath "divides the classes more effectively than birth, wealth or education," wrote English novelist Somerset Maugham. In 1900, the bathtub was a new status symbol of the upwardly mobile, and its proper use was still an object of speculation. Books advised no more than one hot bath per week, since no one was sure if they were bad for health. In many homes, bath water was heated on the kitchen's coal-fired range and ferried upstairs jug by jug. Bathing in general was a very important Victorian value given their obsession with personal hygiene, and they used soaps made of animal fat and vegetable oils.
See the Video Clip

image Home The Family Behind the Scenes The House Lesson Plans About the Series Resources image