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Bathtub Cincinnati

Tub City: A History of Cincinnati Bathtub Stories

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Cincinnati has a, well, I guess you could call it a strange relationship with bathtubs. As plumbers in Cincinnati, we deal with bathtubs fairly often so of course it’s of interest to us. As we dug into it a little more, it became something straight out of a old school murder mystery and things got increasingly weird. Below are a few stories that show that Cincinnati and bathtubs have quite a history.

“A Neglected Anniversary” 

In 1917 H.L. Mencken wrote an article entitled “A Neglected Anniversary” in the New York Evening Mail. The article dealt with who could claim the first bathtub in the United States. Mencken said that honor went to Adam Thompson who lived in Cincinnati, OH. So, Cincinnati is the home of the first bathtub in America, awesome, another notched on the Queen city’s belt! Well, it turned out that Mencken was just trying to lighten people’s spirits during WW1 and that story wasn’t actually true. Sorry Cincinnati.

First Cincinnati Bathtub
“Tubby Taft” 

You may have heard this one before. There was widespread reports that Cincinnatian and President, William Howard Taft got stuck in his bathtub at the White House. Visions of him signing Presidential documents, talking to foreign dignitary’s and eating steak dinners straight from the tub are hard to resist. The truth however is that it never happened. In fact, Taft made sure it didn’t happen by building a custom tub that could fit “several” people inside of it (see photo). The story get’s stranger though as that massive tub is seemingly lost somewhere in Cincinnati. If you know of it’s whereabouts give us a shout.

Taft's Cincinnati Bathtub
“Gin in a Tub” 
If you have been bar hopping downtown before then you probably know about this famous Cincinnati tub. Arnold’s Bar is Cincinnati’s oldest bar opened in 1861 and they have a tub that sits outside of the bar on 8th and Main. Now it’s deck out with a with a steering wheel and motor engine but legend has it that the tub was found on the second floor of the bar and was used to make home-made bathtub gin for the patrons. Gin in a bathtub, has to be a good idea right?

Arnolds Bathtub

Well, there are three examples of some strange bath tub news in our fair city. If you do have that Taft Tub and you’re looking to install it in your new bathroom or get the drain cleaned you know who to call.

Jolly Plumbing has been providing honest 24-hour plumbing service to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky since 1979.