The Popular Gymnasium on Steamships and Ocean Liners
On some steamers a gymnasium is provided for the use of passengers, and no charge is made for the use of the appliances which are largely of the Swedish type. The mechanical hobbyhorses afford excellent exercise, while the couch with the massage roller which travels up and down the back, will often relieve headache and other forms of nervous ailment, and also produce refreshing sleep.
In cases of indigestion, the massage with antagonizing massage rolls are recommended. On some vessels the gymnasium is open certain hours for gentlemen and certain hours for ladies. In other cases they are open for both at all times.
On the Hamburg-American Line Steamship S.S. Moltke, the passenger accommodation is not only decorated and furnished in a most elaborate and artistic manner, but possesses several novel features of great value. One of these is the fine Gymnasium, fully equipped with modern apparatus of every kind, including mechanical massage apparatus. On an extended voyage this opportunity of obtaining suitable exercise will be much appreciated, and will materially assist in making the time pass pleasantly. (Thomas Cook, 1910)
In order to provide physical exercise for the passengers, to counterbalance the effects of good cuisine and idleness, the latest steamers are equipped with gymnasiums containing the most complicated medico-mechanical apparatus. (Scientific American Handbook of Travel, 1910)
Gymnasiums Much Frequented (1922)
On every passenger liner today a gymnasium is an essential part of the equipment, and passengers can keep up their daily exercises with unbroken regularity as though on shore. The gymnasium is one of the most popular adjuncts to the present day passenger quarters, for it not only provides entertainment for those on board, but helps to keep them in good health and to counteract the possibility of seasickness.
Some enterprising operators have installed punching bags on the decks of their ships, and passengers may take a turn at the bag whenever they feel it necessary to work off any accumulation of surplus energy. This is a pleasure to the sportsman and provides amusement as well to such other passengers as may be interested in watching such exhibitions.
Excerpt from "New and Ancient Games Help To Amuse Both Old and Young On Shipboard," in The Nautical Gazette, Volume 102, No. 2, Whole No. 2630, New York, Saturday, 14 January 1922 P. 39