John Smedley designed a range of steam boxes, baths and douches,
as well as some other gadgets,
for use at both the hydropathic establishment and the free hospital.
Several were sold at Lea Mills for use in the home.
He believed that the surface of the skin should be kept clean
and soap and water were important.
The illustrations and quotations
below are taken from John Smedley's "Practical
Mrs. Smedley's "Ladies Manual" and show some of the
equipment that was used for treating patients.
||"B is the seat the person sits upon,
then close the door, and put down the lid, the head going
through the hole A, 12 inches in diameter. 4 feet high, 29
inches wide, 34 inches from back to front, outside measure. ...
The steam is sent under the seat
This bath is used for five to ten minutes, or in some cases
fifteen minutes, and after it a tepid dripping sheet, or
a tepid sponge."
Sitting or Sitz Bath
"A common wash tub or any vessel about 12 inches
deep, will do."
There is a picture of this sitz bath being used lower
down the page. The patient is covered.
There was no children's sitz, as indicated
on this image, in either of the Smedley books.
Ladies' Running Sitz
"Double a dry sheet, and lay it over the front of
the bath F, and sit upon it, and when rising, draw it round
the legs to dry with.
invented this bath, which can be used without any undressing.
It should be in every lady's room, and if used as commonly
as the wash hand basin would prevent weakness of the spine,
and the long list of distressing weakening ailments to
which all females are liable".
"There are various modifications of these
applications : the principal is the one which, from a cistern,
containing one to two hundred gallons of water, a short tapering
pipe contracted to 1¼ inch at the point, or lower aperture,
worked by a lever, allows the water to fall with considerable
force from a height of eight to twelve feet."
"Mr. Smedley's newly-invented ascending douche can be
used in bedrooms with perfect safety. ...
For females it is of great importance, and may be used with perfect safety, the
action being delicate, and can be used often without undressing."
"This is a very useful bath ...
The bather lies down in it half filled with water, and rubs quickly
the legs, arms and body. ...
One or two gallons of cold water may be poured on the spine before
but it is not quite necessary."
Wood Shallow Bath
"Made of deal ... It holds water well, and a good deal of it,
and there is more room for the bather to lie at ease and soap well."
"An excellent application for soothing and cooling the
F is where the back of the head was to go, with
the person lying on the floor and a pillow under the top
of the shoulder.
"For heating cocoa or tea, very useful."
|Steam and Spirit Lamp Bath
"The person undressed, enveloped in blankets, or coverlids, or mackintosh, sits
on a wooden-bottom chair, the steamer under. If at any time too hot, raise the
blanket to let air in, or to make the spirit burn better. After steaming, sponge
over with cold or tepid water."
"The Hydropult, a valuable invention, for Spouting Spine, or
Limbs, and any other purposes."
"First spread a mackintosh on the bed, then two blankets, on which
with only the trunk part of the body undressed, is laid ;
one of the fomenting flannels, previously wrung out with hot water,
is placed under the back, and another over the chest and bowels ;
then bring one side of the blanket over, put the arms down, then
lay the hot can on
and put the other sides of the blanket over, then the mackintosh.
The person lies quietly from
three quarters to one hour, and will often go to sleep. Afterwards
wipe the trunk with a towel
wrung out in cold water, and dress, or
have a dripping sheet, or cold or tepid wash over."