The Perfect Pool Blog

Zodiac's In-Depth Resource for All Things Pool.

A Splash of Swimming Pool History: Part II

Modern residential swimming pool with blue pool lights

While the ancient swimming pool era is what started it all, it is the modern backyard pool that has led to many of the innovative, cutting-edge industry standards we see today. From swimming pools first being used for sport in the early 1900s to backyard pools gaining massive popularity in later decades, it’s no wonder invention and exploration have been at the forefront of many pool industry breakthroughs throughout history.

A Swimming Pool History Timeline

Here’s a continued rundown of swimming pool history (including more fun swimming pool facts), starting were we left on in the early 1900s and working our way toward the modern backyard pool we know and love today.

The 1930s: Hotels started installing pools to attract guests.

The 1940s: The backyard pool boom exploded. It began with the invention of gunite pools. After World War II, with income levels higher than ever, pool companies emerged, offering homeowners the option to have their own pools. The kidney-shaped pool was born and became popular during this time.

1947: Doughboy Recreational started selling affordable above-ground pool kits.

The 1950s: The home swimming pool revolution began. More companies emerged, and vinyl-lined and fiberglass pools became an option for the first time.

1958: Andy Pansini, founder of Jandy, invented the automatic pool cleaner, which revolutionized pool cleaning.

The 1960s: This decade was a period of rapid development. Pool skimmers, main drains, PVC plumbing and underwater lights were invented. Saltwater sanitation also gained popularity in the United States. Companies started offering pools in a variety of shapes.

The 1970s: The first inground spas were offered in California, and consumers loved them.

1975: Peter Bajka invented the electronic pool control system.

1977: George Millay established the first water park, Wet-N-Wild, in Orlando, Florida. Within ten years, almost every major city in America had a water park.

The 1980s: Pool and spa computer control systems increased in popularity during this decade. In addition, exposed aggregate and pebble finishes were introduced in the United States.

1986: Jandy introduced pool automation systems, making swimming pool control more convenient for pool owners.

The 1990s: For the first time, the swimming pool industry asked consumers what they wanted from their backyard pool. Surveys showed that people wanted easier maintenance and improved safety. So, pool companies introduced high-quality automatic cleaners, easy-to-use control systems, pool alarms and safety covers.

2012: Zodiac introduced iAquaLink, the first-ever pool control app, allowing pool owners to control all functionalities of their pool from their smartphone.

2013 – Now: The swimming pool industry has continued to evolve with better cleaners, filtration systems and accessories. From affordable above-ground pools to customized backyard oases, we’ve come a long way since the first swimming pool.

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Includes all the latest information, tips, and expert advice from Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. on owning the healthiest, safest, most enjoyable pool possible.


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