Menu

A Brief History of Swimming Pools

By weldmaster | August 10, 2015

SwimmingHistory

The First Swimming Pool

In the 3rd Century BCE, the “Great Bath” at Mohenjo-Daro (now Pakistan) was built. It was constructed of finely fitted bricks laid on edge with gypsum plaster. A thick layer of natural tar was added along the bottom and sides of the pool as well to make it more water tight.

Greeks and Romans Make Swimming Pools Part of Society

During the 6th through 8th Century BCE, Greeks and Romans went through a time of great change. As the quality of life improved and individual wealth increased, so did the standard of living. New, higher standards of living included the luxury of swimming pools. Pools became an important part of society during these ages and were built in both public spaces and private homes. Pools were not only built to increase the beauty of property, but also for bathing, health practices, religious ceremonies and social hours.

England Introduces Competitive Swimming

In the 1800s, the National Swimming Society in Britain introduced competitive swimming. As a result, the first indoor pools were built to accommodate the athletes who needed to practice. The popularity of swimming increased even more when the 1896 Olympic Games, held in Athens, Greece, included swimming races for the first time.

United States Adopts the Popularity of Swimming Pools

Two United States swimming pools are listed as historic landmarks by the National Register of Historic Places.

The first above-ground swimming pool in the U.S., and in the world, was built in 1907 by the Philadelphia Racquet Club.

The first in-ground swimming pool in the U.S. is the Deep Eddy Pool in Austin, Texas. Deep Eddy began as a swimming hole in the Colorado River and became a concrete pool as part of a resort in the 1920’s. Today, it is a popular swimming spot operated by the city of Austin.

Swimming Pools Become Mainstream in the United States

Swimming pools truly became mainstream in the U.S. after World War II. Hollywood movies showing big shots with big homes and big swimming pools turned the pool into a status symbol. People began to view their very own backyard swimming pool as part of the American Dream, and pools began to spread across the nation. In 2012, the National Swimming Pool Foundation estimated that there were more than 10 million swimming pools in the U.S.

___

Interested in more facts about pools? Check out our blog post on how pool covers are made and learn more about the advantages of keeping your backyard pool covered.