Swimming pools have been seen as a sign of luxury for many years, but we often take this for granted. For instance where was the first swimming pool built and how long did it take for these swimming pools to become popular? If you’re looking to learn a little more about the origins of the swimming pool and how they came to be used in the modern day you’re in the right place.
The Origins of the Swimming Pool
It’s believed that swimming started as an organised activity as early as 2500 BC in ancient Egypt and quickly spread to other parts of the world such as ancient Greece, Rome and Assyria. In Rome and Greece swimming began as a form of education, all men were expected to know how to swim and so they were taught at a very young age.
The majority of boys were taught at the age where they would be in elementary school where as girls were usually given a very different education that was centred around staying in the home and caring for children.
The Romans were the first to separate their bathing pools from their swimming pools and to build them apart. The first heated swimming pool was invented by Gaius Maecenas, a very rich Roman lord who knew no fear of poverty. Gaius Maecenas is considered to be one of the very first supporters of the fine arts and is rumoured to have provided for some of the first poets and philosophers.
The Popularity of Pools
It’s unfortunate that swimming pools did not become popular straight away; in fact the pools did not become very popular until the middle of the 19th century. However, by 1840 six large indoor pools had been built within London and each of them had diving boards.
After the modern Olympic games the pools became even more popular as swimming races and swimming competitions were among the original events at the Olympics.
Swimming Pools – The Early Rules
As the first indoor pools were being built within the city of London many people were tempted indoors and away from the canals and rivers to swim. However, not many working men within this time period owned bathing suits, often these same men could not afford more than one outfit and so they would have to swim in the nude.
As the two genders did not mix much at this point in time the men would swim very early in the morning, before any ‘respectable’ women had set foot out of their homes – the men believed that by doing this they would not offend the women.
The respectable ladies would then go for a swim during the afternoon whilst the majority of the men were working so that they would not be seen by the opposite sex.
Apart from the rules regarding the two sexes using the swimming pool at the same time, there were not many rules regarding the use of the swimming pools; hygiene, health and safety did not make an appearance until much later.
For more information on the history of swimming pools and swimming as an activity you can get in touch with us here at Falcon Pools; we’d be happy to provide you with our professional services and expert advice.