1840 - 1880 Foot Tub

According to 19th–century physician John Bell, pains of the head, teeth and eyes would yield to the foot bath.* Cold water and constant rubbing of the feet while in the bath helped to dispel illnesses as well. The Boston–based Dover Stamping Company's catalog of tinwares advertised foot tubs that matched toilet wares such as toilet jars, carriers, and pails.
The tubs came in extra finish, gold band, paneled (painted decoration with flowers, grape leaves, or cherries), plain, or marbleized painted oak or walnut. This brass and tin foot bath with decorative handles of bearded faces and a reeded edge was more elaborate than any of those advertised.
For more information on bathing and bathtubs in the 19th and early 20th centuries, please see the introduction to this online exhibition.
*John Bell, A Treatise on Baths, (Philadelphia: Lindsay and Blakiston, 1859): 298.
Currently not on view
Object Name
tub, foot
date made
1840 - 1880
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
tin (overall material)
overall: 10 3/4 in x 25 in x 18 in; 27.305 cm x 63.5 cm x 45.72 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Portable Bathtubs
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Estate of DeWitt C. and Juanita Ramsey
Additional Media

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