Shower Difference between revisions

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The original showers were neither indoor structures nor man-made but were common natural formations: [[waterfall]]s.<ref name="stand-upbath">{{cite web|title=The Stand-Up Bath|url=||accessdate=5 December 2010|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=|archivedate=30 November 2010|df=}}</ref> The falling water rinsed the bathers completely clean and was more efficient than bathing in a traditional basin, which required manual transport of both fresh and waste water. Ancient people began to reproduce these natural phenomena by pouring [[jug (container)|jugs of water]], often very cold, over themselves after washing. There has been evidence of early upper class [[Ancient Egypt|Egyptian]] and [[Mesopotamia]]ns having indoor shower rooms where servants would bathe them in the privacy of their own homes.{{sfn|James|Thorpe|1995|p=460}} However, these were rudimentary by modern standards, having rudimentary drainage systems and water was carried, not pumped, into the room.
The [[ancient Greeks]] were the first people to have showers. Their [[aqueduct (bridge)|aqueducts]] and [[sewage system]]s made of lead pipes allowed water to be pumped both into and out of large [[communal shower]] rooms used by elites and common citizens alike.{{sfn|Humphrey|Olsen|Sherwood|1998|p=280}} These rooms have been discovered at the site of the city [[Pergamum]] and can also be found represented in pottery of the era. The depictions are very similar to modern locker room showers, and even included bars to hang up clothing.{{sfn|James|Thorpe|1995|p=}}{{page needed|date=January 2010}} The ancient Romans also followed this convention; their famous [[bathhouse]]s ([[Thermae]]) can be found all around the Mediterranean and as far out as modern-day England. The Romans not only had these showers but also believed in bathing multiple times a week, if not every day. The water and sewage systems developed by the Greeks and Romans broke down and fell out of use after the fall of the [[Roman Empire]].
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The first mechanical shower, operated by a hand pump, was patented in England in 1767 by William Feetham,<ref>{{cite web|title=A 19th Century Regency Era Shower|url=|publisher=Janeaustensworld|accessdate=30 September 2013}}</ref> a [[stove]] maker from [[Ludgate Hill]] in London. His shower contraption used a pump to force the water into a vessel above the user's head and a chain would then be pulled to release the water from the vessel. Although the system dispensed with the servant labour of filling up and pouring out buckets of water, the showers failed to catch on with the rich as a method for piping hot water through the system was not available. The system would also recycle the same dirty water through every cycle.
This early start was greatly improved in the anonymously invented [[Regency era|English Regency]] shower design of circa 1810 (there is some ambiguity among the sources).<ref name="stand-upbath"/> The original design was over {{convert|10|ft|m|0}} tall, and was made of several metal pipes painted to look like [[bamboo]]. A basin suspended above the pipes fed water into a [[nozzle]] that distributed the water over the user's shoulders. The water on the ground was drained and pumped back through the pipes into the basin, where the cycle would repeat itself.{{citation needed|date=May 2015}} The original prototype was steadily improved upon in the following decades until it began to approximate the shower of today in its mode of operation. Hand-pumped models became fashionable at one point as well as the use of adjustable sprayers for different water flow. The reinvention of reliable [[indoor plumbing]] around 1850<ref>{{Cite journal|last=|first=|date=July 1987|year=|title=History of Plumbing in America|url=|journal=Plumbing & Mechanical magazine|volume=|pages=|issn=8750-6041|archive-url=http|archive-date=6 November 2008|quote=by 1845, the installation of sanitary sewers began to pay off ... In 1874, ... an unknown plumber solved the problem of venting.|postscript=<!--none-->|via=|accessdate=6 January 2011|deadurl=yes|df=}}</ref> allowed free-standing showers to be connected to a running [[water source]], supplying a renewable flow of water.<ref>{{Cite web|url=|title=Shower heads Archives|last=Izak|first=Shcultz|date=|website=Beyond Shower|language=en-US|archive-url=|archive-date=|dead-url=|access-date=2017-03-13}}</ref>
Modern showers were installed in the barracks of the [[French army]] in the 1870s as an economic hygiene measure, under the guidance of [[François Merry Delabost]], a French doctor and inventor.<ref>{{cite book|url=|title=Fameux Rouennais, Rouennais fameux|date=2005|publisher=PTC-Normandie|year=|isbn=9782350380117|location=Rouen|pages=|last1=Biot|first1=Roger}}</ref> As surgeon-general at Bonne Nouvelle prison in [[Rouen]], Delabost had previously replaced individual baths with mandatory communal showers for use by prisoners, arguing that they were more economical and hygienic.<ref>Hervé Dajon, ''La douche, une invention d’un médecin des prisons, le docteur Merry Delabost'', Criminocorpus, 2010 [ Online text - in French]</ref> First six, then eight shower stalls were installed. The water was heated by a steam engine and in less than five minutes, up to eight prisoners could wash simultaneously with only twenty liters of water. The French system of communal showers was adopted by other armies, the first being that of Prussia in 1879, and by prisons in other jurisdictions. They were also adopted by boarding schools, before being installed in public bathhouses. The first shower in a public bathhouse was in 1887 in [[Vienna]], Austria. In France, public bathhouses and showers were established by Charles Cazalet, firstly in [[Bordeaux]] in 1893 and then in [[Paris]] in 1899.<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Dr. Merry Delabost, inventor of the shower? |first=Dr. |last=Feltgen |date=8 November 2000 |publisher=Hopitaux de Rouen |accessdate=30 September 2012 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl= |archivedate=12 January 2012 |df= }}</ref>
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[[File:Jugadušš (šarko) Moinaki limaani kõrgsoolase veega..jpg|thumb|250px|left|Hydro-massage on Lake Moynaki, [[Yevpatoria]], [[Crimea]]]]
Shower usage in the latter half of the 20th century skyrocketed. Personal hygiene became a primary concern, and bathing every day or multiple times a day is common among Western cultures.{{sfn|Shove|2004|p=}}{{page needed|date=January 2010}} Showering is generally faster than bathing and can use less water. An average shower of four minutes at 2.5 gallons per minute uses about {{conv|10|USgal|litre}} of water,<ref>{{Cite web
|title = Shower vs. Bath
|work = Consumer Energy Center
|url =
|archiveurl =http
|archivedate =Apr 21, 2012-04-21
|publisher = [[California Energy Commission]]
|accessdate = 5 December 2010
|deadurl = yes
|df =
but modern low-flow shower heads are limited to only two gallons a minute (in the US), corresponding to {{conv|8|USgal|litre}} for a four-minute shower.