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Baby Shower: 1940

Baby Shower: 1940

June 1940. Belle Glade, Florida. "Showers for babies, older children and parents, as well as complete laundry facilities, are provided in the utility building for members of the Osceola migratory labor camp." Photo by Marion Post Wolcott for the FSA. View full size.


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Group showers

Following the Pan-Am Games in 1967 in Winnipeg, a huge benefit to the community was the public use of the Olympic-sized pool only a mile away from where we lived. I took swimming lessons there, and my 10-year-old self was amazed by the length of the pool (50m), the depth (5m) of the water under the 10m diving platform, and the size of the change room, including the shower zone which had multi-headed columns just like in the pictures Alex provides (Save Water!). The columns had timed knobs that you had to whack periodically, instead of old-style faucet dials. And except for the occasional fellow who clearly lived in a freer, unself-conscious universe, like those jolly guys in the Bradley ad, we wore our bathing suits.

Nice setup

I wonder if the water is warm. Also, I see what you did there.

Baby Belly Band

aka umbilical hernia truss

Save Water!

Bradley Group Showers!

Had those in the Air Force

We had those in the Air Force for hand washing in basic training. Ten or so guys could wash at the same time. And there was a foot pedal all around the bottom for you to turn the water on as you used it. Once you took your foot off, the water went off. Very efficient and conservation-minded.

Not a baby shower to me

With a round pipe following the base of the "shower" to serve as a foot pedal, a half a dozen railroaders can scrub the car yard off their dirty hands so they can eat lunch. The B&ORR version of this essential equipment included a large soap dispenser in the middle of the island that could be reached from any direction.

That facility was built in 1965.

Easily misunderstood plumbing fixture

I have been in a men's restroom that had one of these, in a school for auto mechanics. There was a sign asking people not to urinate in it. That, and the radial symmetry, were the only clues that this was not its intended purpose.

Umbilical Hernia

That's my guess, those bands are still sold.

Great Company - 100+years in business!

I remember them well...

My dad (R.I.P.) was in the plumbing trade and owned his own company for many years. As a kid I used to open his product binders of many companies and read through them. So, I recognized the Bradley logo in the picture and their wash fountain at once!

The original purpose was to afford the ability for many people to wash their hands in one community fixture at the same time - thus saving space, money, time and costs.

History of Bradley and Washfountains :

Trussed Tot

What is that band around the baby’s middle? And judging by all those freckles, I’m betting the mom is a redhead.

Real live baby

I thought that was a doll, at first glance. Interesting contraption, as long as you're not too tall.

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