What was a Steamie

The Whiteinch Steamie

The Steamie was a public wash house and often contained baths (slipper baths and ordinary baths) as well as a swimming bath.   The following definition comes from the Sunday Post of 7th September, 2018.   

“Wash houses and baths came into being after a working class outcry for sanitation reform in the country in the Victorian age as a direct response to a perceived threat from infectious epidemic diseases like cholera and tuberculosis.

As industrialisation advanced from the late eighteenth century onward more and more people lived in towns and worked in factories, and as this new way of life spread, health conditions deteriorated, leaving far behind any voluntary, half-hearted efforts to cope with the problem.

The first official wash house in Glasgow was opened in 1876 on London Road after new legislation was passed in 1866 to introduce a fleet of wash houses across Scotland.   Throughout the years that followed, over 20 baths and wash houses were opened across the city of Glasgow, with many more springing up across the country.   By 1915, public baths and wash houses were to be found in nearly every British town and city.”

The ‘lockers’ at the front left are referred to by Hugh Barrow on the next page when he talks about their kit being ‘baked’

A picture of the Partick Steamie, which was fairly typical.   One runne says:  says” This is how I recall Whiteinch layout.   You could really get a soak in these tubs after the flog round Knightswood Tues Thurs”