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By Alan Knight
It was 1867 in a small mining town called Denver, Colorado. With signs of winter fast approaching, the sun set at 4:30 p.m.and didn’t rise again for nearly 15 hours. With the thought of the long, cold hours that lay ahead, there was only one thing on the miners’ minds — whiskey! The hard-drinking miners knew they didn’t have enough liquid gold to make it through the winter, and this made them grow restless.
Determined not to face the harsh mountain weather without it, they hired a group of Irish Teamsters to transport 40 wagon loads of whiskey through the Colorado plains. To ensure its safe arrival, the US Cavalry was commissioned to escort the load.
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But in 1867, it wasn’t only women that enjoyed the luxury of bathing on the trail. It’s reported that the Bathtubs that existed during the antebellum period before indoor plumbing came into vogue were large but relatively light containers. They were usually hidden away and only pulled out when needed, perfect for on-the-road washing. The typical mid-19th century bathtub was a product of the tinsmith’s craft, commonly made from a shell of sheet copper, or zinc. The use of copper continued into the mid-1900s as a liner for wood-enclosed tubs. Commanders and officers of the US Cavalry also enjoyed some downtime relaxing in traveling tubs.
More commonly, tubs back then were steel-cased. By 1867, tub manufacturers started using cast iron, which had been used for several years for making sinks and toilets. The problem with metal was corrosion. Copper and zinc discolored readily around water and soap, and the seams of sheet metal were hard to keep clean. Iron and steel, of course, rusted eventually, even under the most meticulous coat of paint. Bathtubs made of lead were only found in more progressive homes equipped with early water-heating devices. As running water became more common in the latter 19th century, bathtubs became more prevalent and less portable.
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While some members of the US Calvary and the Temperance ladies were enjoying their high society tubs, the miners most often bathed in horse troughs, if at all. Bathing wasn’t considered a necessity by these hard-working men. In fact, personal hygiene was considered something of a nuisance. Over time, as bathing became more fashionable, more tub manufacturers entered the market and began improving designs. Out with the horse trough and in with cast iron bathtubs with porcelain interiors on “Clawfoot”pedestals. These tubs rose to popularity in the 19th century and remain so today.
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One such design is the Walk-in tub that is perfect for seniors. These bathtubs provide a great safety advantage to handicapped persons or those with limited mobility. Not only are these tubs highly functional, there is also a range of hydrotherapeutic options available. Walk-in tubs are perfect for everyday bathing needs, but importantly, they also provide personal safety and independence wrapped in therapeutic luxury.
Tub King’s cast iron/porcelain Clawfoot and Pedestal tubs as well as our therapeutic Walk-in Our tubs are made to fit in your bathroom. Or, if you want one for your covered wagon, we can hitch you up with that, too.
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Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.
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Alan Knight has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also multi-award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. If you’d like to contact Tub King, call (800) 409-3375 or (800) 843-4231; or send an email to Alan@tubking.com.
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Here at Tub King, we’ve been creating happy customers for over 14 years. What makes our customers so satisfied with their Walk-in Tubs? They really help people … oftentimes in ways that can sometimes be easily take for granted. But when you’re older, giving up freedom and dignity takes its toll emotionally and can be a challenge physically. Conversely, gaining freedom and dignity is liberating. Here’s a true success story about JoAnne, one of our highly satisfied Walk-In tub customers.
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As we’ve discussed before on our blog, there are well-documented statistics about accidental slips and falls occurring in the bathroom, particularly among older adults. In fact, the CDC once mentioned in its report entitled, “Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries Among Persons Aged ≥15 Years ― United States, 2008”: “Approximately 80% of all bathroom injuries were caused by falls, with the highest injury rates in the oldest age groups … bathrooms commonly are believed to be a particularly hazardous location … All persons, but especially older adults, should be aware of bathroom activities that are associated with a high risk of injury and of environmental modifications that might reduce that risk.”
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JoAnne says she loves to take baths, and especially enjoys relaxing in a deep-soaking bathtub. Her Walk-in Tub provides very easy access and egress into and out of the bath due to its very low threshold and water-tight door, which she very much appreciates.
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After having her Walk-in Tub installed, Joanne had to undergo a total hip replacement. This is an in-patient surgical procedure, whereby the diseased cartilage and bone of the hip joint is surgically replaced with artificial materials. Total hip joint replacement involves surgical removal of the diseased ball and socket and replacing them with a metal (or ceramic) ball and stem inserted into the femur (upper leg) bone and an artificial plastic (or ceramic) cup socket. As you may imagine, this can be a very challenging and sometimes painful procedure to recover from, especially for elderly adults who live alone.
JoAnne’s Testimonial About Her Walk-in Tub from Tub King, Part 2
In this success story about Walk-in Tubs, I shared with you highlights from one of the many testimonials we’ve received from our customers about them. I included some key findings from a CDC study about injuries sustained from falling in the bathroom, particularly for adults, the benefits of hydrotherapy for people suffering from arthritis, and more.
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She’s right. I can already feel a tinge of arthritis in my hips and back. It probably won’t get any better. The day will also come when getting light-headed will be more common when I get up out of bed or stand up from sitting in a chair, so even maintaining balance everyday will be a real challenge. We both know that day is coming, it’s just a matter of time.
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My wife and I both eat right and we visit the gym almost daily. We both know the value of preventative care. We strive to live a healthy lifestyle, but eventually we will need some type of assistance. In this regard, a Walk-in Tub can be of tremendous assistance.
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But that’s not all. Just like many elderly seniors, my wife and I will probably develop a few aches and pains as we get older. Age often brings on things like psoriasis, arthritis, eczema, neuropathy, muscular aches, and joint discomfort, just to mention a few. The Walk-in Tub comes with air jet hydrotherapy where its jet ports fill the tub with thousands of therapeutic bubbles that stimulate the skin and relax the body. Just the act of sitting in warm water creates buoyancy and takes pressure off the joints, muscles and ligaments. The Walk-in Tub can also come with a water-jetted massage system with inline heater. This means you can target certain parts of the body for specific “aquatic massage” treatment. The jets are adjustable as to force and direction. It’s like having your own massage therapist around the clock.
When I was younger, and long before I was part owner in a specialty bathtub company, I dreamed of having my own portable spa in my home, where I could walk in and get the same treatment that I would get from a professional health spa. Now I can have it, and not a minute too soon.
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It really doesn’t matter if you’re retired or facing retirement, it makes sense to plan ahead. The Walk-in Tub can be enjoyed at any age. Many who have medical problems are enjoying it long before retirement. And some who are presently in very good health, who simply enjoy the pleasure of having their own year-round, private Jacuzzi, have them as well. That’s great, too.
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- A shrunken head (Believe it or not, Ripley)
- Facial hair removal kit for women
- A stuffed deer head with a red nose attached
- Packaged, flavored larvae
- A super “Swiss Army” knife with 20+ tools contained therein
- A chess piece (yes, just one piece)
- A turquoise leather vest
- A sandwich bag of coffee (enough for one pot)
- A tree ornament with the co-worker’s wife’s picture on it
- A fire extinguisher
- A bag of chips
- “Gun of the Day” calendar
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