Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on July 14, 1997 at 11:59:27:
In reply to Bathing machines posted by Carl Gossd/ab on July 14, 1997 at 11:41:44
] There is a reference to bathing machines in Sanditon. Anybody got any idea what sort of machines these might be? What might they look like?
Carl, they're not really "machines", but just a kind of wagon that was pulled up to the shore and served as a moveable changing room. The wagon had two doors, and you'd enter by the one that was away from the sea, change inside the wagon to your "bathing dress", and then exit by other door, which faced on to the sea. Sometimes the sea side of the wagon had kind of an awning you could pull down to "bathe" (not "swim") in relative seclusion. Bathing machines are mentioned in Smollet's Humphrey Clinker (written about 1770), and survived on into the Victorian era; here's a quote from The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll:
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