Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for July 2014

Postcard advertising Quaker portable Turkish baths
imported by William Cooper & Co's Indian depot

Obverse side of postcard Reverse side of postcard

At least eight years before the remarkable William Cooper started his Savoy Turkish Baths chain by buying (and then re-naming) the Stamboul Turkish Bath in Brixton, he exported Quaker Turkish bath cabinets to India.

He already owned a large factory in the Old Kent Road which manufactured a large range of wooden buildings and garden sheds of all shapes and sizes, and a depot in Calcutta from which he delivered these to individuals, companies and the British army.

As we can see from the testimonial rubber-stamped at the top of the card, which supplements four others printed on the reverse, by 25 November 1902, when the card was posted, Cooper had supplied such baths to the Lawrence Military Asylum at Sanawar. Despite its name, this was actually a school founded by Henry Lawrence for the orphans of British soldiers as an asylum from the influences of life in the barracks. It seems most likely that they were supplied for use in the school's separate hospital building.

The school at Sanawar

Located at the top of one of the Simla hills, an asylum also from the tropical climate below, the school is still in existence and is reputed to be the oldest mixed-sex boarding school in the world.

The postcard is from the collection of the Victorian Turkish Baths Project

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