The limited liability companies
formed to run Victorian Turkish baths

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Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development, and gradual decline

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The ownership of Victorian Turkish baths

The majority of Victorian Turkish baths were owned by individuals, families, partners, or small private companies. Few financial details of these have so far come to light.

Examining the available records of publicly owned companies seems to show that, with few exceptions, most were short-lived.

The records also give us an idea of the wide range of occupations of those who became shareholders in 19th century Turkish baths companies.

How the public companies have been found

The list includes all limited liability companies so far identified as having been set up to run Turkish baths. Gradually, as more information is found, an increasing number of entries will be linked to their own descriptive articles.

The entries are mainly compiled from records at The National Archives (TNA), formerly known as the Public Record Office (PRO), so almost all relate to English and Welsh companies, though it is hoped to add entries for Scottish companies at a later date. Similar records do not exist for Irish companies since they were destroyed by fire in 1922.

Another limitation is that neither the TNA records, nor those at Companies House, can currently be searched by the business function of the company. Therefore most of the companies included are those in which the word Turkish is part of the name. But there will undoubtedly have been many other baths companies such as, for example, laundry companies, which at some stage operated (or intended to operate) Turkish baths.

A few companies have also been included when their existence became known from other sources, though it has not been possible to check every company with the word 'bath(s)' in its title, even if this would have been considered a worthwhile activity. But fortune has also played a part, for there is no logical way to have determined that companies with names such as H Walduck Properties (or even The South Shields Salt Water Bath Company) were set up to operate Turkish baths. There is, of course, a clue in the name Balneum Laconicumóbut first you have to stumble across it.

Finally, it should be noted that quite a few of the companies set up to operate Turkish baths never actually progressed far enough to commence trading.

This page last modified 03 November 2018


Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development, and gradual decline

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