1860 - 1900 Hat Bathtub

In the early 20th century Sears, Roebuck & Co. Inc. continued to advertise the hat–shaped bathtub for $4.20 in their catalog. In 1900, for five cents more, one could purchase a “Combination Bath Tub,” a cross between a sitz and a hat tub. Though an awkward–looking contraption, the advertisement claimed that there was “nothing better made in a tin tub.”*
This hat tub likely had years of use. Though well worn, traces of the first green coat of paint can be seen beneath the second layer of beige on the tub’s exterior. The Sears 20th–century example notes that its 3-X tin bath was japanned and varnished on the outside.
For more information on bathing and bathtubs in the 19th and early 20th centuries, please see the introduction to this online exhibition.
*Joseph J. Schroeder, Jr., ed., Sears, Roebuck and Co. Consumers Guide, Fall 1900, (Northfield, IL: DBI Books, Inc., 1970), 920.
Currently not on view
Object Name
tub, bath
date made
1860 - 1900
mid 19th Century
Physical Description
tin (overall material)
iron (overall material)
paint (overall material)
overall: 22.5 cm x 10.5 cm x 95.3 cm; 8 7/8 in x 4 1/8 in x 37 1/2 in
place made
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Family & Social Life
Domestic Furnishings
Portable Bathtubs
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Kenneth E. Jewett
Additional Media

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