Even after decades of archeological investigation little is known about the ancient city of Mohenjodaro in Pakistan. There is, however, one discovery that truly sets this city apart from other ancient sites of similar age.
Dating to about 2600 B.C.E. the Great Baths are an ancient and elaborate bathing site. The pool was constructed of fired bricks that are covered in what was once colorful plaster. It is bordered by terraced decks much like stylish poolside’s today. To date this is one of the oldest public pools yet discovered.
The swimming pool was a symbol of civilized life in the ancient world. Swimming was an integral part of young boys education in Rome as well as Greece.
The first historic record of a heated swimming pool is in a reference to Gaius Maecenas. He was an engineer and architect in Rome around the first century BC. Maecenas was also a leading proponent about the importance of public services such as bath houses and swimming pools. He also supported some of Rome’s most famous poets including Horace, Virgil, and Propertius.
The great Roman baths fell into ruins. The swimming pool became an historic footnote during the Middle Ages. Then in the mid 19th century the swimming pool again began to serve as standard for the rich and famous. A luxurious swimming pool worthy Roman emperors was a focal point of the lavish and expansive Vanderbilt estate in Asheville, North Carolina. It was built in 1895.
Public swimming pools built during this period manifested a rediscovery of Roman knowledge. As most homes lacked indoor plumbing, swimming pools served as a means of controlling disease associated with a lack of hygiene. The Cabot Street Bath in Boston, the first public swimming pool in the United States, opened in 1868.
The modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. The swimming races sparked a dramatic interest in swimming pools, public and private. The corresponding development of chlorination and filtration systems that provided clean water made pools more practical. This was less labor intensive than removing all water and scrubbing walls and floor.
In the early 20th century the swimming pool became an important tool for hotels, resorts, and even steam ship companies. The Titanic had a swimming pool. The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida prominently featured its swimming pool in marketing campaigns.
Underlying the population boom in the desert southwest are the swimming pool and air conditioning. The modern swimming pool dates to 1940. This is he year that the first gunite pool was built.
As gunite is applied through a nozzle or gun it was less labor intensive. In turn this lowered the cost of construction. It also dramatically cut the time for installation.
After WWII the swimming pool industry boomed. This was the era when a plethora of companies such as Anthony Pools, Sylvan Pools, and California Pools were established.
Building on this heritage is Baron Services of Bullhead City. In the Colorado River Valley this is the premier company for all of your swimming needs. From design to construction, landscaping and maintenance, Baron Services is your one stop shop.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America