bathing machine love

bathing machine


from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A covered vehicle used at the seaside resorts of Great Britain, in which bathers dress and undress. It is driven into the water to a sufficient distance to suit the convenience of the bather.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A portable changing room that was rolled down a beach to the edge of the sea to allow people to paddle in the sea modestly.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a building containing dressing rooms for bathers


Sorry, no etymologies found.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • 'I will say this about Shrimpton-on-Strand you can always get out of the wind one side of the breakwater or the other, or under the bathing machine.'

    - Stevie Smith, Novel on Yellow Paper

    February 23, 2009

  • Foxbourne seemed a very jolly little place to Mr. Polly that afternoon. It has a clean sandy beach instead of the mud and pebbles and coaly défilements of Port Burdock, a row of six bathing machines, and a shelter on the parade in which the Three Ps sat after a satisfying but rather expensive lunch that had included celery.

    - H.G. Wells, The History of Mr. Polly (1890), I. iv.

    February 3, 2009

  • I had no idea they went back as far as the 1760's. The location is Scarborough, by the way.

    January 7, 2009

  • Betwixt the well and the harbour, the bathing machines are ranged along the beach, with all their proper utensils and attendants. You have never seen one of these machines -- Image to yourself a small, snug, wooden chamber, fixed upon a wheel-carriage, having a door at each end, and on each side a little window above, a bench below -- The bather, ascending into this apartment by wooden steps, shuts himself in, and begins to undress, while the attendant yokes a horse to the end next the sea, and draws the carriage forwards, till the surface of the water is on a level with the floor of the dressing-room, then he moves and fixes the horse to the other end -- The person within being stripped, opens the door to the sea-ward, where he finds the guide ready, and plunges headlong into the water -- After having bathed, he re-ascends into the apartment, by the steps which had been shifted for that purpose, and puts on his clothes at his leisure, while the carriage is drawn back again upon the dry land; so that he has nothing further to do, but to open the door, and come down as he went up -- Should he be so weak or ill as to require a servant to put off and on his clothes, there is room enough in the apartment for half a dozen people. The guides who attend the ladies in the water, are of their own sex, and they and the female bathers have a dress of flannel for the sea; nay, they are provided with other conveniences for the support of decorum. A certain number of the machines are fitted with tilts, that project from the sea-ward ends of them, so as to screen the bathers from the view of all persons whatsoever -- The beach is admirably adapted for this practice, the descent being gently gradual, and the sand soft as velvet; but then the machines can be used only at a certain time of the tide, which varies every day; so that sometimes the bathers are obliged to rise very early in the morning...

    - Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (Melford to Phillips), 1771

    January 7, 2009

  • A spirited disquisition on the practical side of bathing machines here.

    November 29, 2008

  • "Are his first fumbling efforts to compose an essay on the history of the bathing machine to be marked on the same scale as his final polished piece in term 6 on `The Economic Significance of the English Watering Place'?"

    - Mary Warnock, 'A common policy for education', 1989.

    November 22, 2008

  • moll - it seems to me that a 'day at the beach' really wasn't one when the bathing machines were the rage...

    November 22, 2008

  • It went downhill from there.

    November 22, 2008

  • Haha! C_b, I knew you'd spot that!

    — — — — —

    Feel better?

    November 22, 2008

  • Mollusque! Why the cruel curtailment of such a jocund account of bathing machine misadventure?

    November 22, 2008

  • At the close of this morning's bath, meditating on the innumerable vicissitudes of human life while tying my boot-lace in a bathing-machine constructed in the lightest fashion of upright canvas sides rising above a flat, rectangular wooden floor, supported on small round wheels — a bathing-machine divided into two portions each almost a yard square, and therefore far from spacious, in fact, decidedly small, and nevertheless called a cabine de luxe — a bathing-machine, I say, in which, although of ordinary proportions, I disrobed with difficulty in semi-Stygian darkness, and whence, while the playful zephyr blew lightly through my scanty vesture, I stepped down into water an inch deep only to leap rapidly into the air, in the manner of Venus rising from the foam, on discovering a solitary sharp pebble immediately under the large toe of my right foot — a bathing-machine, I repeat, which like the rosy flush of the sunset sky, or the blue glory of the hyacinths in the vernal woods, received my tired senses with a soothing caress while I sat on its exiguous bench and clasped my injured extremity, until such time as I was able to venture forth again into that azure flood which laves the chalk cliffs of Albion and the calcareous coasts of Gaul, whence, invigorated by the gentle touch of the saline deep, I returned, and, rapidly entering by the door, fell over a foot-bath of hot water placed in the diminutive cabin by the bath attendant during my absence, fell over it so suddenly that my head, violently projected against the opposite side of the vehicle, penetrated the canvas, and burst forth upon the outer world to the speechless amazement of an obese French lady seated in the immediate vicinity — in fact, about six inches away — upon a camp-stool under a white umbrella, in such manner that my hands, vainly seeking my release, tore down from the internal pegs the greater portion of my raiment into the hot water, some of which had already filled my boots, from which unpleasant position I was ultimately removed by the bath attendant, who, in a decidedly Delegorquesque manner, pulled me out backwards by the ankles . . . .

    --Punch, September 6, 1899, p. 118

    November 22, 2008

  • Fuck hyphens!!

    Look! Look, reesetee, they've even taken over YOUR comment!! Get outta there! That's a job for em-dash!!

    November 22, 2008

  • From bathing machines to topless beaches... Where are we headed next and why are we in this handbasket?;-)

    November 22, 2008

  • Actually, hyphens can't really bite you. They--

    Yes, I know. All editors have those weeks. *sigh*

    November 22, 2008

  • I say no hyphen. I'm mad at hyphens this week. They're always shafting en-dashes! Hyphens can bite me.

    November 22, 2008

  • In that case, yes. The hyphen, I mean.

    What better place for a bathing-machine repository, after all? We already have witch ponds.

    November 22, 2008

  • I aim to make Wordie the world's foremost repository of bathing machine citations. Anyone who cares to help is welcome.

    n.b. hyphen or no?

    November 22, 2008

  • Heehee! You've reminded me of how much I love that book, yarb. :-)

    November 21, 2008

  • At a very early hour in the morning, twice or thrice a week, Miss Briggs used to betake herself to a bathing-machine, and disport in the water in a flannel gown and an oilskin cap.

    - Thackeray, Vanity Fair, ch. 25

    November 21, 2008

  • "G.H.Q. commands:

    1. that the attack take place on August 28th, first penetration of the hostile position 7:10am

    2. a fake landing by pleasure-paddle-steamers near the bathing machines on beach 5

    3. a main frontal attack: divisions to be concentrated in the Shenley brickfields and moved forward to the battle-zone in bakers' vans disguished as nuns"

    - Journal of an Airman, W.H. Auden

    February 7, 2008

  • The bathing machine was a device, popular in the 19th century, which was intended to allow people to wade in the ocean at beaches without violating Victorian notions of modesty. Bathing machines were in the form of roofed and walled wooden carts which would be rolled into the sea. Some had solid wooden walls; others had canvas walls over a wooden frame.

    The bathing machine was part of sea-bathing etiquette which was more rigorously enforced upon women than men, but was expected to be observed by people of both sexes among those who wished to be considered "proper".


    I really urge you to read the rest of the Wikipedia entry for this contraption and see the pictures. Who knew?

    February 6, 2008