These days we take a whole lot of things for granted. In the bathroom, for example, we have toilets (inside toilets didn’t become common in Australia until the 1960s) and cold and hot running water (hot water inside homes wasn’t common until around the 1940s).

Plus, and we reckon this is the most important of all, we have glass shower screens to enjoy a nice hot shower without the water escaping to the rest of the bathroom. When did glass shower screens appear in Adelaide and, indeed Australian homes?

Glass shower screens history key points

While glass was used in shower screens before the 1960s, it was standard glass, which wasn’t particularly safe and certainly falls well short of today’s Australian Standards.

  • Another product that was commonly used in Australian homes was wired glass shower screens. If you’ve of a certain age you’ll certainly remember them and if you live in an old home now, you might still have them in your bathroom.
    Not the safest or the best looking, wired safety glass stopped being used late last century.
  • The invention of the shower glass screens most of us use today can be traced back to 1903, when a French scientist invented the first safety glass.
  • Then, an Austrian chemist came up with tempered glass in around 1910. Tempered glass is strong and, if broken, breaks into cube-like chunks that are less likely to cause injury.
  • Fast forward to 1963 and a company in Ohio claims the first showers to use tempered glass to screen the entire shower.
  • The first glass shower screens featured frames around all edges, to provide strength.
    While it wasn’t long before semi-frameless and frameless shower screens started to appear, they weren’t often used except in luxury homes. That’s all changed recently, with frameless screens now commonplace.

Shower facts

Another thing that most of us in Australia take for granted is a shower, so we thought we would bring you a few interesting facts about how we use showers.

  • Around 20 per cent of people enjoy their shower between 7 and 8 am, making it the most popular time to shower.
  • Australians spend on average seven minutes in the shower.
  • Around 25 per cent of people shower twice a day.
  • Between 80 to 90 per cent of people shower at least once a day.
  • An older style of shower head uses around 15 to 20 litres of water a minute. Modern water saving heads use less than 10 litres per minute.
  • While most of us like a hot shower, experts agree that a warm to lukewarm shower is better. Hot showers can inflame your skin and damage it.
  • If you’re particularly brave, take a cold shower. It increases circulation, calms itchy skin and increases your metabolism.