Charleston in Charleston County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Tales of the Tub
This historic bathtub, probably built in the early 1800s, is the first of its kind that archeologists have identified in Charleston. It is unique because its owner placed it in the plantation house instead of a separate outbuilding.
Although a rough and plain-looking ruin today, it was once a finely finished bathtub. It stands as a tangible reminder that attitudes about bathing have changed throughout the centuries. Once considered risky to a personís health, bathing became increasingly fashionable in the late 1700s. At that time, however, bathers washed for refreshment rather than to get clean.
Location. 32° 48.274′ N, 79° 59.073′ W. Marker is in Charleston, South Carolina, in Charleston County. Marker can be reached from Old Town Plantation Road. Click for map. Marker is located on the History Trail at Charles Towne Landing. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1500 Old Towne Road, Charleston SC 29407, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Foundations of the Southern Plantation (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Foundations of the Southern Plantation (within shouting distance of this marker); In Need of an Ally (about 300 Cassique of the Kiawah (about 300 feet away); Protecting the Colony – The Palisade Wall (about 500 feet away); The Search Goes On (about 600 feet away); Ghost Structure (about 600 feet away); A Temporary Home? (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Charleston.
More about this marker. The bottom right of the marker contains a picture with the caption “This print from the mid-1700s depicts a wooden bathtub. The tub here at Charles Towne Landing was made of brick lined with stucco. Archaeologists excavated it in the 1960s.”
Above this is a picture of a shirt and has a caption of “Instead of bathing, colonial men and women wore long linen undergarments called “shifts” and relied on the fabricís texture to “dry clean” their skin.”
At the upper right of the marker is a reproduction of an advertisement with the caption “Various outbuildings typically surrounded houses in the 1700s and 1800s. Only more expensive properties included bathing houses, like this one advertised in Charleston
Also see . . . Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site. (Submitted on August 19, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 218 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.