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Back in the 18th and 19th century, the ladies just couldn't strip to their swimwear and run towards the waves on the beach. There are certain sea-side etiquettes that needed to be observed and decorum to be maintained. Getting oneself seen in their bathing costumes by the members of the opposite sex was certainly not one of them.

To help women maintain their modesty and dignity, a simple contraption called the “bathing machine” was developed. A bathing machine resembled a wooden changing room commonly seen on beaches, but larger in size, and raised on wheels and with steps leading to the inside. The female bather would enter the small room of the machine while it was on the beach, wearing their street clothing. In the privacy of the machine, she would change into her bathing dress, which was exceedingly modest compared to today’s standards, and place her street clothes into a raised compartment where they would remain dry.

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Photo credit: unknown/Vintage.es

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.



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