Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for May 2013

Racing cartoon from Punch

   First Stable Lad (discussing jockey) "Looks a bit tucked up this morning, don't he?"
  Second ditto. "So would you if you'd breakfasted on a Turkish bath and dined last night off the smell of someone else's dinner."

Weight can be a problem for participants in certain sports, perhaps the most notable being boxers and jockeys, where a weight limit is decreed, or the advantage lies with lightness. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, at least, Turkish baths were often given to horses and jockeys alike—the former as a form of training, and the latter to reduce the weight carried by the horse. The jockey most famous for taking Turkish baths before a race was Fred Archer who had a private Turkish bath built at his Newmarket home and used it (many maintained, to excess) for more than a decade in the 1870s and '80s.

J D Armour was a regular contributor to Punch during the first quarter of the twentieth century. He specialized in sporting cartoons, especially on huntin' shootin' and fishin' and, as here, on racing. This drawing was published in Punch on 8 June 1921.

This item is from the collection of the Victorian Turkish Baths Project

This page adds to the information found below:

Early Turkish baths for animals. Part 3: Turkish baths for racehorses

Caricatures and cartoons: 2. The Turkish bath in general

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Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development, and gradual decline

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