Encouraging repeat visits with freebies

Token gifts (today’s freebies), given to bathers as a way of encouraging return visits, seem to have been given by very few establishments, especially in Britain, where there was a preference for proselytising booklets—inherited, perhaps, from the religious tracts which were so common in the 19th century.

British items found have been limited to smoking accessories, lucifer boxes such as those given by the Imperial Hotel baths and Faulkner (Fig 29.26), and book matches, which were given away by baths around the world.


I have only found two non-smoking-related gifts. The first is a most impressive baseball scorer presented to bathers at the Oriental Turkish Baths in Columbus, Ohio, and the second is a pen from the Turkish bath in Mason City, Iowa.

Baseball scorer
< Photo source currently unknown
This page adds images to illustrate free gifts
given by Turkish baths to encourage return visits,
mentioned on pages 313-4 of my book
Victorian Turkish Baths
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by Malcolm Shifrin

Published by
Historic England 2015
The University of Chicago Press 2016
ISBN: 978-1-84802-230-0

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©  Malcolm Shifrin, 1991-2019