Working at the Baths

  • Dave DayEmail author
  • Margaret Roberts


The introduction of new swimming facilities in the nineteenth century led to an increase in employment opportunities in roles ranging from superintendents and matrons to attendants and swimming teachers. This chapter utilizes different biographical methods to explore some of these positions and to uncover, in particular, the class origins and involvement of female employees. The discussion of baths attendants is informed by a database that allows a degree of quantitative analysis, while individual life courses of supervisory staff give some insight into their working practices and the importance of patriarchy in career development. Similarly, the role of the swimming teacher is illuminated by using different biographical methods before the chapter concludes by describing how the Amateur Swimming Association sought to control swimming teachers through certification.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History, Politics and PhilosophyManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK
  2. 2.Independent ResearcherCreweUK

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