In The News

Swimming Pool History

In The News

I came across a recent post on swimming pool history that got my attention.  The post mentioned how the infamous Titanic was the first cruise ship to have a swimming pool aboard for guests.  Another reader chimed in how this was not accurate.  And the debate ensued.  From the facts presented, I concur that Titanic was in fact the second cruise ship to have a swimming pool.  The first was aboard Adriatic – which was the sister ship of Titanic.  Both ships were part of the fleet from White Star Line ocean liners.

These facts on swimming pool history led to some additional searching and I came across a timeline of pool history – put together by the folks at

Swimming Pool Evolution – A Timeline:

  • 2500 BC: Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting swimming.
  • 36 BC: Japanese historic records describe swimming competitions.
  • 78 AD: Romans introduced swimming as a social event to Britain.
  • 1400s: The Catholic Church objects to naked bathing on moral grounds.
  • 1800s: Acrobatic diving is developed in Germany and Sweden.
  • 1830s: Swimming clubs are established in England.
  • 1844: The Breaststroke loses popularity after Britain is introduced to the Native American “Crawl.”
  • 1862: The First documented indoor swimming pool is built in England.
  • 1885: The first diving competition is held in Germany. Briton Matthew Webb is the first documented person to swim the English Channel.
  • 1900: The Paris Olympics feature an obstacle swimming event in the Seine River.
  • 1907: The White star line installs a swimming pool on its ocean liner, The Adriatic.
  • 1908: The international governing body of swimming, FINA (Federation Internationale de Nataion de Amateur), is founded.
  • 1912: Women’s swimming events are added to Olympic Games in Stockholm.
  • 1924: Johnny Weissmuller sets 67 world swimming records before becoming a Hollywood movie star.
  • 1943: Two-piece swimsuits are introduced after wartime shortages prompt a 10% reduction in the amount of fabric used to create swimsuits.
  • 1972: Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals in the Summer Olympics.
  • 2008: American Michael Phelps becomes the world’s most decorated Olympic swimming with a career total of 14 gold medals.
  • Today: The National Swimming Pool Foundation estimates there are more than 10 million swimming pools across the USA, including more than 360,000 public pools that are open year round.


caption-icon The Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro is called the “earliest public water tank of the ancient world”


caption-icon A view of the swimming pool on Titanic