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Springburn Public Baths

Glasgow City Archives, Department of Baths and Wash Houses

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Springburn Public Baths

Springburn Public Baths and Wash-house were opened on 5 April 1898 in Kay Street and contained only a pool of 75 feet by 35 feet, for men and boys only. There were twenty-eight private baths for men and five for women, as well as thirty-four individual washing stalls in the wash-house.

The most common way of taking dirty laundry to the wash-house or "steamie" was in a pram laden with not only clothes and linen but also soap powder and a double-sided washing board. It was common to see women pushing these loads throught the streets dressed in wellies and light frocks, an unusual combination which was deemed necessary because the wash-houses were both wet and hot. Steamies were also renowned as places for the exchange of gossip.

In the twelve months between May 1899 and May 1900, 46,293 bathers visited Springburn Baths. There were 101,776 visitors to Greenhead Baths during this period.

Reference: D-BW 1/4

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

Keywords:
bathing, gossip, laundries, public baths, public health, public hygiene, soap powder, Springburn public baths and wash-houses, steamies, swimming pools, washing, wellies, wellington boots



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