Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for October 2012

TheRMS Queen Elizabeth: First Class Turkish Baths:
appointment card

Appointment card

There is an unanswered question about this appointment card from the Turkish bath on the RMS Queen Elizabeth.

Why was it necessary to make an appointment for a steam bath?

The Turkish baths were open each day for male passengers from 7 till 10 and from 2 till 7, and the heat would have needed to be kept on for the whole of that time (since female passengers used the baths in the intervening period).

To make an appointment for a massage would have been normal practice and perfectly understandable; there were two shampooing slabs and one of them, together with a masseur or shampooer, had to be available.

An appointment would also be understandable if the steam baths were individual cabinet baths, but this was not the case; the steam bath was a separate room big enough for several people to use at the same time.

It could be that the steam room was less popular than the Turkish rooms and that the heat was turned off as an economy measure when it was not in use. In this case a passenger wanting a massage, but not having time to go through the whole Turkish bath procedure, would take a Russian steam bath to open the pores beforehand. So an appointment would be necessary to ensure that it was ready for use before the passenger arrived.

But this is only guesswork. Any other ideas?

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The Turkish baths on the RMS Queen Elizabeth

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