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This Is How Jacuzzi Hot Tubs Took Over The 1970s

If you weren’t burning up the disco dance floor during the 1970s, chances are you could be found steaming things up in a Jacuzzi. These hot tubs were a relaxing and soothing place that became a must-have for anyone looking to enhance their swanky, sexy living space. Jacuzzis seemed to fit right in with the hipness of shag rugs, and the laid-back appeal of wood paneling. Owning a Jacuzzi meant that you would never again have to settle for an ordinary, run-of-the-mill bath. Instead, take the plunge into a Jacuzzi, and you could take bathing to a whole new level.

Photo: Flickr.com/TChapman9

Bubbling With Excitement, Right From The Start

The modern-day hot tub, also known as the Jacuzzi, was designed, invented, and engineered by the seven Jacuzzi brothers, all of whom emigrated from Italy to come to California in the early 1900s. The family’s ingenuity and work ethic led them to design advancements in aviation, as well as water pumps for use in farming and agriculture, particularly orange groves.

Eventually, the Jacuzzi brothers invented the world’s first submersible pump. This made it possible to draw water directly from the ground into pipes that then disbursed the water where it was needed.

In 1956, the brothers took their first crack at developing a hot tub, named the J-300, in response to a family member’s struggle with rheumatoid arthritis. They engineered a piping system to transfer hot water from a furnace to another container of water, and designed a hydrotherapy pump as well. Because the pump was completely portable, it could be submerged in an ordinary bathtub. Their invention, quickly recognized for its therapeutic, rejuvenating and relaxing qualities, was responsible for transforming the everyday bathtub into a home spa.

In 1968, Roy Jacuzzi, a third-generation member of the Jacuzzi family, invented the first combination whirlpool and bath, which he called the Roman. The whirlpool bath featured integrated jets with a one-to-one air-to-water ratio that soothed the pains of arthritis sufferers, and made bath-lovers out of even the most ardent shower-devotees. This new style of hot tub was designed for indoor use, but design changes eventually allowed for outdoor use as well.

Photo: WikiMedia Commons/Eliedion

No Watered-Down Excitement Here

The ‘70s saw the arrival of multiperson hot tubs. Around this time, hot tubs became widely referred to as Jacuzzis, owing to the fact that the Jacuzzi family had revolutionized the concept. The Jacuzzi became a social gathering spot for family and friends, neighbors and partygoers, and swinging singles and cozy couples alike.

One of the hot questions that followed the installation of hot tubs everywhere was whether one should wear a swimsuit when in the Jacuzzi.  It was a matter of personal choice, to be sure, but legend has it that diehard Jacuzzi aficionados wouldn’t be caught dead taking a dip in anything except their birthday suit.

The socially acceptable nudity that came with hot tubs and Jacuzzis made them excellent settings for steamy scenes in movies, including Hollywood Hot Tubs, Hot Dog: The Movie, and Hot Tub Time Machine. James Bond himself was known to take a hot tub dip or two, as demonstrated by Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again and Roger Moore in A View To A Kill. John Travolta and Lily Tomlin attempted some sexy love scenes in Moment By Moment, and so too, did Anthony Hopkins and Bo Derek in A Change Of Seasons. Even Rodney Dangerfield’s cranky millionaire Thornton Mellon practiced marine biology with several coeds in a Jacuzzi in the comedy Back To School.