Dover: Biggin Street:
first floor: electric treatments room:
electric lamp bath

Electric treatments room
< Image: Source unknown

Many different types of electric bath have sporadically been in use during the first hundred years of the Victorian Turkish bath, and we don't currently know what was available to bathers in this rather grandly named electric treatments room on the first floor.

However, the only one advertised among the establishment's 'specialities' was the electric light bath, often called the (electric) lamp bath.

In the model in use here, the bather stands in the cabinet surrounded on two or three sides by an array of lamps, the combined heat of which causes the bather to sweat. The bather's head remains outside the cabinet to allow normal breathing, surrounded by towels to stop the warm air escaping.

Many different types of lamp bath were available at the time. Some vertical cabinets included a chair so the bather would have been able to remain seated, while others were horizontal, as was the one on the RMS Olympic (images below), enabling the bather to lie down.

Lamp bath on the RMS <em>Olympic</em>

< Image: Shipbuilder (1911, Special no.) p.108 (Bruce Beveridge Collection)

A copiously illustrated article about this type of bath can be found in the fascinating Messy Nessy cabinet of chic curiosities website.

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Dover Turkish Baths

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

 
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  Malcolm Shifrin, 1991-2023