“Error 1 – Frankenstein is the name of the creator, not the monster. Error 2 – Frankenstein is a zombie. He’s a type of zombie. It’s like people who say ‘Tannoy’ when they mean Public Address System. Tannoy is a brand name.”Alan Gordon Partridge
That quote from Sir Alan of Partridgeshire (as we live and breathe), sums up the origins of the word ‘Jacuzzi’ quite nicely.
Just like other brand names we have converted into common nouns – such as Hoover, Sellotape, Frisbee, Memory Stick – Jacuzzi is actually a particular brand of whirlpool bath, rather than a generic term to describe them all.
So where did the word ‘Jacuzzi’ come from? The history is richer and more interesting than you might think.
In 1915, the Jacuzzi company was founded by Giocondo Jacuzzi, who was one of seven Italian brothers who emigrated to California in the early 1900s.
The Jacuzzi brothers started out making wooden propellers for the American military and even briefly branched out into full-blown aircraft manufacture.
Unfortunately this came an end when Giocondo Jacuzzi was killed making a test flight in one of his planes in 1921.
However, the Jacuzzi brothers continued their innovative business and developed further interests in hydraulics and thermodynamics, eventually moving into agriculture and creating a unique agricultural pump.
This pump technology was further utilised when the youngest of the original seven brothers, Candido, had a son who was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Candido Jacuzzi could see the beneficial impact that his son’s regular hydrotherapy sessions at hospital was having on his health and set about creating a pump that could recreate these sessions at home.
During the 1950s, this development continued and the Jacuzzi’s portable pump business thrived, particularly with hospitals and schools.
The 1970s really saw the true birth of what we would recognise as a traditional ‘jacuzzi’, when the company incorporated a water and air jet pump into a large ‘bathing tub’ which included heating, filters and could cope with more than one occupant.
In the intervening decades, other companies have sprung up manufacturing hot tubs and whirlpool spa baths, but it is the family name of an Italian immigrant family that we most associate with this technology, and thanks to their innovative techniques and creations, this recognition is very well deserved.