A Brief History Of Swimming And Swimming Pools

by Pool Builders on 01-06-2011 in Articles

Did you think that the heated pool in your backyard is a new invention? Well, it really isn't. Heated pools were first mentioned in Ancient Rome and were built on pillars with a chamber beneath. Servants would stand beneath the pool, build a fire and then fan the flames so the wealthy homeowners could relax in heated comfort. Being able to flip a switch and heat your pool or keep it warmed with the technology of a solar cover is so much easier! The advent of the technology to build and maintain pools have really only been around for the past 50 years. With the newer technologies came the affordability needed for the average family to be able to install a pool and because of that, their popularity has exploded.

Because swimming pools had to be dug by hand with picks and shovels they were cost prohibitive and only the wealthy could afford them, that's the reason that swimming pools didn't grace every temple or yard. The invention of modern mechanical tools helped make them more affordable so more families could enjoy them in their own backyards.

Even when families could afford to have a swimming pool, the puritanical codes and mores of the day disallowed the exposure of skin in public. Back in the 1800s, swimming suits had to completely cover a person's body! Swimmers weren't even allowed to swim the "crawl;" it was banned for being "crude, impolite and rough." Basically once you hopped - almost fully clothed - into the pool your options for swimming were limited. You were allowed to swim the breast stroke but could only kick sideways because spread legs were not allowed. It was the American Indians who truly introduced swimming for pleasure to the New World and it was travelers from the New World back to England who carried the free style swim with them.

Today's swimming pools, with their ease of installation and designs and technologies certainly have changed since the original pools were imagined. The clothing choices have certainly made swimming a lot more fun and enjoyable, too.

Swimming pools have certainly come a long way from the days of them being heated by hot coals. And having one in your own backyard lends itself to family fun and an area to entertain friends.

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