Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine
About this deal
Walton, John K. (1983). The English Seaside Resort: A Social History, 1750-1914. Leicester University Press. ISBN 978-0-312-25527-5.
Diver Says He Found Mysterious Underwater Ancient Tomb, Ruins And Artifacts Of An Unknown Advanced CivilizationThe first phase of building was completed in 1846 with the Pavilion, housing the private rooms of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the royal nurseries. The household wing, containing accommodation for members of the royal household who accompanied Queen Victoria to Osborne, was completed in 1848. At this time, bathing machines were invented to hide the user until they were submerged and therefore covered by the water, since swimming costumes were not yet common at the time and most people bathed naked. Men also sometimes used bathing machines, though they were permitted to bathe naked until the 1860s and there was less emphasis on their modesty compared to women. Bathing machines were raised off the ground
Bathing machines would often be equipped with a small flag which could be raised by the bather as a signal to the driver that they were ready to return to shore.People entered the small room of the machine while it was on the beach, wearing their street clothing. In the machine they changed into their bathing suit, although men were allowed to bathe nude until the 1860s,  placing their street clothes into a raised compartment where they would remain dry.  Mermaids at Brighton swim behind their bathing machines in this engraving by William Heath, c. 1829.