The idea behind hot tubs—a cauldron of hot water—has existed for thousands of years. From early cultures resting and relaxing in hot springs to the state-of-the-art jets on the Jacuzzi J-500™, this unique way to unwind and improve your physical and mental well-being has deeply ingrained itself in the human psyche. Here, we’ve gathered a collection of little-known hot tub historical firsts that may prove both surprising and interesting:

The First Spa

The term “spa” is drawn from the Belgian town of Spa (possibly Espa). Spa possessed mineral springs, which were believed to contribute to physical and mental well-being. The name Spa has since become synonymous with a body of water that has health-giving properties.

First Hot Tub to Cross the Atlantic

In 1907, the RMS Adriatic (owned by the same company that built the infamous Titanic) was the first vessel to provide passengers with a swimming pool and a Turkish bath. The latter of these is a hybrid spa/sauna experience that drew from popular European bathhouses. A Turkish bath included time spent in a steam room, as well as a relaxing massage and a warm rinse.

First Hot Tub Pump

In the 1950s, the Jacuzzi brothers—who made their name designing agricultural pump systems—created the J-300™. This pump turned any bathtub into a hydrotherapy chamber, and it was largely sold to schools and medical facilities.

First Self-Contained Hot Tub

In 1968, the first jetted bathtub arrived on the scene. Roy Jacuzzi integrated the famous Jacuzzi® Brand jets into the sides of the tub, rather than depending on a single pump. In the 1970s, Jacuzzi® Brand introduced larger tubs with heating and filtration systems, creating the first self-contained spas and bringing hydrotherapy and the health benefits it confers to a mass audience for the first time.

First Touchscreen Control Hot Tub

The Jacuzzi® Brand has moved hot tubs into the future with the J-500™. This spa features the first glass touchscreen panel integrated into a hot tub, enabling you to easily adjust your settings with the flick of a finger. In addition, you can pair your J-500™ with your smartphone, so you can instruct your hot tub to heat up while you’re on your way home, or send a maintenance alert to your local dealership.

The hot tub has evolved and grown in popularity over the years. With the advent of the J-500™, Jacuzzi is proud to remain at the forefront of these advancements, and will continue to lead the way in hot tub and bathtub innovation for years to come.