Bathing Machines

The first recorded use of a bathing machine was in Margate in 1750 and by 1900 they were considered very old-fashioned and most had disappeared from Britain’s beaches. The concept was simple, you would enter via the rear steps whilst on the beach, change into your costume in privacy, then a horse would tow your machine into the sea where you could emerge directly via the front steps. Interestingly, mixed gender sea bathing was illegal until 1901 and, perhaps even more surprising, prior to that, nude bathing was common. Whilst not mobile, we Brits still love the bathing machine’s successor, the humble beach hut.

Enjoy this original photograph from our archive. It is low resolution and has a ‘’ watermark. Our NFT photo-art images are higher resolution (300 dpi) with no watermark. Please subscribe to be notified when Keasbury-Gordon photo-art is offered for sale. If you like our website, please share it with friends and family.