Call us any time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (403) 879-1663

History of the Modern Bathtub

Apr 13, 2018  |  By Brham Trim (Calgary)  |  Bathtubs


giant bathtub by Erica Nicol

If you’re like many Canadians, it’s likely that you have bathed at least once in the last 24 hours. Modern indoor plumbing has provided us with clean, hot water on demand and tubs and showers installed directly in our homes for frequent bathing. But have you ever stopped to consider the origins of the modern bathtub?

While bathing is perhaps as old as humanity itself, and public baths can be traced as far back the ancient world, the modern bathtub traces its influences directly to the ‘clawfoot’ tub which hit the peak of its popularity in the late 19th century.

Originally developed in Holland in the 1700s, the clawfoot tub – so-called for the claw-like legs the tub rests on – were traditionally made of cast iron. These tubs eventually made their way to Britain then North America in the early 18th century, though they were considered a luxury item typically only owned by the rich. Bathtubs were uncommon in most homes until residential indoor plumbing became more widely available.

The latter half of the 20th century saw the evolution from the classic clawfoot design to the now-common apron-front built-in tub. This new style was considered easier to maintain, and slowly came to be the standard in most homes.

If need a new bathtub installed, or if you’re experiencing issues with your current model, feel free to give us at Action Auger a call – we would love to help!