A Brief History of In-Ground Swimming Pools


A Brief History of In-Ground Swimming Pools
Mar 9 18

We spend hours lounging, exercising, and having fun in our swimming pools. But very few people know the origins of the in-ground swimming pool. And believe it or not, there’s a lot of history involved with the pool in your backyard, dating back to over 5,000 years ago. To find out where your pool originated from, here’s a brief history of in-ground swimming pools.

More Than 5,000 Years Ago

The first in-ground pool dates back to over 5,000 years ago in Singh, Pakistan. Named the Great Bath, it was a large public pool that reached nearly 8 feet in depth and was 40 feet long. This was used primarily for social functions and religious events to purify the bathers.

The Greeks And Romans

The ancient Greeks and Romans revolutionized pools. At first, they used pools for soldiers to train, exercise, socialize and taking baths. But soon enough pools became a status symbol amongst the elites. This lead to the Romans building a massive 900,000 sq ft. in-ground pool that included elaborate marble columns and stunning Roman statues. It was even heated from the basement below and became revered by all the emperors in the land. Soon after the wealthy started to create stunning pools with intricate designs and landscaping. They also believed that the heated water could heal muscles and provide natural defences.

Middle Ages

Swimming remained popular in the Middle Ages. In 1539 the first swimming book called Colymbetes, by a German professor was published. And then the first guide to swimming was published in 1595.

Competitive Swimming

Swimming started to advance in the 1800s as a competitive sport. England built the first indoor pool in 1828 called the St George’s Baths. By 1837, the National Swimming Society was holding competitions all across London in six in-ground pools. Popularity boomed, and a number of swimming clubs were formed around the country.

American Pools

Pools weren’t designed in America until the 1900s. The first in-ground pool was built during the great depression in the city of Austin, Texas and was named the Deep Eddy. It’s still in use today and is registered as a historic landmark. Soon after the end of World War II, pools started popping up all over the US and quickly became a status symbol among society.

Pool Cleanliness and Design

It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that concerns started to rise about the cleanliness of pools. Chemicals started to be used to help keep swimmers safe from algae and bacteria. The development in plumbing during this time also promoted advancements in the way swimming pools were designed and created. Innovative features during this time were on the rise, and soon infinity pools, zero-entry pools and other unique designs began to emerge.

To find out more about modern day pools and all the advanced features that are available today, contact us at Rideau Pools.


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