Tulsa Pools : Get the Depth
Cody: Hello, welcome to the Dive Time Show. I’m your host Cody Albright, and here with me is my wife Rachel.
Cody: Together, we are the owners of Sierra Pools and Spas of Tulsa. You can find us online at SierraPoolsandSpas.com or give us a phone call at 918-884-8427. You can also find us on Facebook.
So, let’s do this. Let’s take you back. It’s a little bit of a history lesson. Today, we’re going to be talking about a history of swimming pools. So, we’re going to talk about how swimming pools came to be today in the 21st century. Where did they start? So Rachel, what is this history of swimming pools you speak of?
Rachel: The art of swimming dates back to the beginning of time. There was water, there’s been water forever. But swimming pools have an interesting history. We wouldn’t be able to enjoy our Tulsa pools if the ancient world did not come up with the art of swimming pools or swimming for refreshment, relaxation, or social events. So yeah, we’re going to talk about how swimming pools gained their popularity, where they came from, where they started, and all that good stuff.
So, there is a quote-unquote “Great Bath”. This is the earliest discovery of what you could consider a swimming pool, basically a corporate bath. It existed over 5,000 years ago and it was in the Middle East in a Pakistani city in the settlement of Mohenjo-daro. I don’t know where that is, but you can probably Google it and find out. Just know it’s in the Middle East.
So, this tank was 39 feet long, 22 feet wide, and had a maximum depth of seven feet. There were two staircases on either end that led down into the tank. Then there were also small sockets at the edge of the stairs that are thought to have held either wooden planks or treads. Then at the foot of the stairs, there was a small ledge with a brick edging that extended the entire width of the pool so that people coming down the stairs could move along this ledge without actually stepping into the pool itself Tulsa Pools.
Now, the floor of the tank or the bath was fitted with finely laid bricks on edge with gypsum plaster. This actually made it watertight. Then the sidewalls were also constructed in a similar manner. Then to make it even more watertight, there was a thick layer of tar that was laid along the sides of the tank. Also, it’s believed that this was laid beneath the floor.
There were brick colonnades that were discovered around the edges. These columns were preserved and they actually have stepped edges that may have held wooden screens or window frames. There were two large doors that led into the complex from the south side. Then there was also access from the north and east side Tulsa Pools.
There were a series of rooms located along the edge of the building and it’s believed that in one of the rooms, they probably stored the water that would have been needed to fill the tank or the bath. It’s also believed that they probably collected rainwater to help fill this bath. There have been no inlet drains found, so that was probably all manually done. Most scholars believe that this tank or this bath was probably used for religious functions where the water was used to purify bathers.
So, that’s kind of where the swimming pool history begins. But when you think about pool history, the Great Baths, and things like that, you’ll probably think of the ancient Greeks and the Romans. So, in the Greek and Roman times, there was a major shift in the quality of life. There was a lot more wealth. So, there were luxuries that were being introduced for the first time that weren’t introduced previously.
Cody: I imagine grapes being fed to someone in the swimming pool with one of those little gold feather crown things.
Rachel: Yeah, exactly. So, with this increase in the standard of living, the luxury of a pool actually came around. Water itself was such an important part of society for thousands of years, and specifically during this period, there were pools everywhere.
That’s for many different reasons. Obviously, they’re very beautiful and they provide a certain aesthetic and beauty to property. But they were also used for corporate bathing. They were believed to have health benefits, there were religious ceremonies. Then also just socializing.
So, in the 6th to 8th century, we see the ancient Greeks had something call palaestras, and these were basically an open area between columns and rooms where physical activities like wrestling, boxing, games, and other exercises were performed. But also, there were pools put in these palaestras for the use of swimming, bathing, and socializing in.
They were also used by the Greek and Roman militaries to train for war. So Plato, if you’re familiar with the-
Cody: The flour-salt-water mix that you play-
Rachel: No, wrong Plato. P-L-A-T-O.
Cody: That you eat in … Oh, okay.
Rachel: Not Play-Doh, Plato. He was a Greek philosopher and he believed that every child needed to learn to swim as a part of proper education along with their writing, astronomy, mathematics, etc. In fact, it was standard education to teach children to swim in pools, and this dates all the way back to 400 B.C Tulsa Pools.
Cody: I had swimming lessons. Did you have swimming lessons?
Rachel: Yeah, actually, when I went to school in 5th and 6th grade, we had swim lessons every Thursday. We actually had a pool in our school.
Cody: Cool. Is it true that all babies can naturally swim, babies like newborns?
Rachel: I don’t know.
Cody: Have you not heard of that?
Rachel: I have heard of that. But I don’t know the research on that Tulsa Pools.
Cody: Like you just throw a baby in and they can swim. Maybe not a newborn, surely. I don’t know. I just can’t imagine a newborn having enough muscle to … But maybe a one year old, or a two year old.
Rachel: I have no idea.
Cody: But then you lose that ability between whatever age.
Rachel: I have seen that video of, it’s some sort of service where they do teach little tiny kids to swim, or they teach them to be able to if they fell into a pool, they could get out or they could sustain themselves. That’s pretty interesting.
Cody: Remember that thing, Shark Tank, that’s it’s like a pool floaty for a baby, but it was for their head?
Rachel: It’s water therapy for babies.
Cody: Yeah, that’s strange. Anyways, continue.
Rachel: So, there were lots of health benefits for children and adults alike. In A.D. 305, there was a pool built by the Romans that was huge. It was over 900,000 square feet.
Rachel: That seems a bit excessive.
Cody: I wonder how much a pool like that would cost today.
Rachel: Yeah, I don’t know. That’s crazy. But it was used for corporate bathing. It was also heated. This is really cool. It was heated by giant fires that were in the basement beneath the floor of the pool.
Cody: Wow, that’s smart Tulsa Pools.
Rachel: The columns and the walls actually pumped the heat up to the pool above.
Cody: They were intelligent.
Rachel: They had natural pool heaters even back then. So, if you want to heat your pool that way-
Cody: We don’t recommend it.
Rachel: … it is possible, I guess. I just thought that was really cool. So, you can just imagine how beautiful this pool must have been. You think about the Roman architecture. They used marble, intricate statues, and colonnades. I think that would just be incredible to see Tulsa Pools.
So, pools were obviously important in society during these times. They had many different uses and many different benefits. Both Roman and Greek emperors had very large, ornate swimming pools, usually with live fish in them, which is really interesting.
Cody: That’d be fun.
Cody: I wonder if people do that today. Probably not Tulsa Pools.
Rachel: Probably not.
Cody: I haven’t met anyone that does that.
Rachel: The word “pool” actually comes from “piscine”, meaning “fish”. The first jacuzzi style custom pool was actually designed by Gaius Maecenas. I don’t know if I’m pronouncing that right. But he was one of Augustus Caesar’s political advisors. This was sometime around 8 B.C.
This pool was supposedly just amazing to look at. It had waterfalls, gardens overlooking terraces, libraries, villas, and just a bunch of other luxurious décor. So, they were all about architecture, luxury, and aesthetic. So, this is really where the luxury of swimming pools was introduced to the world.
Competitive swimming was first introduced in the early 1800s. This was in Britain, and it was introduced by the National Swimming Society. At that time in London, there were manmade indoor pools and they used them for swimming competitions. These events became so popular in England and it actually lead to the formation of the Amateur Swimming Association in 1880.
There were two strokes used in this period, and that was the sidestroke and the breaststroke. John Trudgen introduced the front crawl to Britain in 1873, used with a scissor or flutter kick. What this did was enhance speeds and made swimming competitions new and exciting. Then in 1896, swimming was first included in the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. So, that’s a little bit of a history of competitive swimming.
The first modern day quote-unquote “in-ground pool” in the United States is the oldest pool in Texas. It actually has a name. It’s called the Deep Eddy pool and it’s found in Austin. Deep Eddy has a bathhouse that was built during the Depression era by the Works Progress Administration. The pool began as a swimming hole in the Colorado River and then it became a resort in the 1920s. It’s still a popular swimming pool today operated by the city of Austin.
So, Deep Eddy, like I said, began as a swimming hole in the Colorado River. Cold springs actually rose from the river banks and people swam in the river where a large boulder formed an eddy. So, an eddy is where there’s no current, basically. So, if you’re in a river, there’s a fast current, and then over to the side, if there’s a large boulder, it can create an eddy, which is a spot where you can get out of the current. So, people would swim in this.
Then in 1915, A.J. Eilers, Sr. bought the land surrounding the swimming hole and then he built the concrete pool. The pool served as the centerpiece of a resort, the Deep Eddy Bathing Beach, which featured cabins, camping, and concessions. So, that was the first modern day swimming pool.
Then swimming pools began to go mainstream really after World War II in America, Tulsa Pools and with the advent of Hollywood movies, they became somewhat of a status symbol. Then they evolved as a viable consumer purchase as more and more people began to realize that part of the American dream was being able to take a vacation in your own backyard by having a swimming pool.
Swimming pools can be found in almost every country throughout the world, even some of the smallest countries. New Zealand actually has a total of 200,000 swimming pools for its approximately 4 million people, making it the leader in pools per capita. So, pools are everywhere. They’ve just gained popularity as time has gone on. So, that is a brief history of swimming pools.
Cody: What’s that saying? “If you’re cool, you have a pool.” I just made that up. All right. Tulsa Pools That’s the end of the history of the swimming pool. If you want to make history in your own backyard, and you want to make history of your own swimming pool, just give us a call at 918-884-8427. At SierraPoolsandSpas.com, we can make your dreams come true. I’m Cody.
Rachel: And I’m Rachel.
Cody: We’ll talk to you next time. Bye.