Mosely Folding Bath Tub - Tiny House Blog

Mosely Folding Bath Tub

Ryan spotted this very interesting folding antique tub on eBay and thought you would enjoy it. I’ve seen folding beds many times before but did not know a tub was ever designed to do it as well. The auction has ended but I think it will be back up for sale if you are interested and have lots of money to spend. You can view the original auction here. It would work quite well in a small home. Thanks Ryan for sharing this with us.

Own a fabulous piece of American history…The Mosely Folding Bath Tub manufactured by the Mosely Folding Bath Tub Company in Chicago, Ill. in the mid 1880’s.

In near perfect condition with a ten gallon copper tank, heated by a small kerosene burner. Clearly a luxury from another century. Included: Original tub stopper, original bath brush with “How to use” instructions on handle, and original advertisement. Tub and solid maple cabinet approximate dimensions Width: 29 inches, Depth: 25 inches, Height: 77 inches. Tub extends to 76 inches. Some quotes from the original advertisement “If you have no bathroom, buy a Mosely Folding Bath Tub”, “Don’t look around for another house, and “acts well and looks well”. An advertisement also notes that the tub is “portable, with self-heating arrangements to heat water at a moments notice. A great convenience and when closed an ornament to any room…”.

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Cristian Lavaque - February 28, 2010 Reply

They should have also quoted the weight of the thing, though. Hardly something you want to musle after or before a bath. Looks lovely, though.

Elizabeth Goertz - March 1, 2010 Reply

Great Idea. you could rig a modern version with an on demand propane water heater and a plastic horse trough, it wouldn’t be as pretty, but it would work and be lighter.

jeff - March 1, 2010 Reply

seems like something along those lines could be designed to be a stand-up shower as well.

    LWorthey - November 22, 2011 Reply

    A stand up shower? That confused me… I’ve never seen a lay down shower… was the question perhaps, could it be converted to a shower? Then I’d say not very successfully.

Joyce Lovelace - March 1, 2010 Reply

A Murphy tub!

    Anne - March 1, 2010 Reply

    Hahahaha! That made me laugh out loud 😉

Evan Sayre - March 1, 2010 Reply

Less fancy one on the Antiques Roadshow.

Benjamin - March 1, 2010 Reply

I wonder how the drain works.

    Mark A - March 1, 2010 Reply

    That’s what I was wondering

Antibubba - March 1, 2010 Reply

I see a market that isn’t being fulfilled. That’d be perfect for studio dwellers as well as tiny housers.

    Aldene - November 3, 2012 Reply

    I agree about there being a market out there; some savvy entrepreneur has a customer base from the readers of this website alone….

Adrienne - March 2, 2010 Reply

” Murphy Tub” Good one Joyce. Had me laughing out loud too Anne! :-).
Great idea though,wonder if I could rig up something lighter for camping.

Dod Wash - March 2, 2010 Reply

[…] Mosely Folding Bath Tub […]

madaline - September 26, 2010 Reply

why are you people laughing? it’s a great idea. I want one!!! it’s very pretty, and practical if you live in a place where there’s no bathtub.

Hope Henry - October 2, 2010 Reply

Combine a wooden entertainment cabinet or a wardrobe and a lightweight, small rv bathtub…the plumbing could be attached directly, or a plastic holding tank, filled by hand with warm water could be installed. The drain could be plumbed to funnel through a floor drain (with a cover for when the tub is folded up) or to attach to a hose to run the water to filter, before using on garden…

Susan - July 19, 2011 Reply

This is the first time that i met this kind of tub, very specific.

I bought a bath tub before, very funny, it can be portable, foldable, different from traditional tub, especially heat insulation. Whether camping or traveling, I always took it. Make our family feel convenient and comfortable.

Theresa Micheal - August 17, 2011 Reply

Hi, We are a company promoting Social Entrepreneurship for women in India. We have an excellent collection copper vials for bathing purposes. They can be custom made for specific uses or commercially available in quantum. Some are antique pieces and can be used for designer bathing rooms. For more details contact me at

Mike - September 26, 2011 Reply

Just saw one appraised on the show Pickers for $2500! Very rare.

hillarose - September 26, 2011 Reply

Watching one of these on American Pickers. But it is in good condition. It’s worth $2500 without the tank. Looks like something from an old Sears catalog. Pretty cool!

Dean - September 26, 2011 Reply

This is coooooooool. Wood. I love wood

Al - October 4, 2011 Reply

Appreciate the innovation and craftsmanship of the time. That is the beauty of items like this. I would love to own one.

Linda - October 4, 2011 Reply

I make these only in a modern version. The antique tubs are made out of tin and pieced together. The one shown is definitly in great shape, if the tin is original and doesn’t leak. The wood shell is the heaviest thing on them. I don’t recall seeing a copper holding tank on the one I saw, nor a way to heat it. These were hauled on some wagon trains and owned by people considered rich in 1809-1900.

myron - January 10, 2012 Reply

i love it and want one

Horseglazier - April 20, 2012 Reply

I have one of these…not encased in wood, but galvanized with an oak ring around top. Stand is white metal but the water tank is missing. I would like to sell this, however don’t know where to start. Can someone help me with a value. I have a picture of a similar one on If anyone can help, I would sure appreciate it. Thanks!

Tom - April 22, 2012 Reply

I just listed my folding bathtub on ebay. Take a look.

My user name is ybuwtr0h36 if that doesn’t work

Jimi - October 23, 2012 Reply

They had these on some of the older steam locomotives at one time. Usually it would be in the owners executive car. Quite the luxury for the times.

    Frances - November 3, 2012 Reply

    WOW! how long ago was that?? Was there wood on that one also?

Hunter - November 10, 2012 Reply

there used to be folding canvas tubs that earlie pioneers could fold up and tuck inside a wagon. it’s frame was an X shape and canvas nailed or stapled along the sides. you had to dip the water out till it could be tipped up to pour out on the ground. my grandpappy used one when he was headed to MO. as a young man. You may have had to heat your water but it beat a cold river by a mile.

    Lady Red - February 10, 2014 Reply

    The Army use to have folding canvas tubs they drained with a hose.

michele - November 17, 2012 Reply


michele - November 17, 2012 Reply

Love them..

Judy Reid - November 21, 2012 Reply

I LOVE it! Wow – I wonder…. where else could I find one?

Eugene - August 27, 2013 Reply

this is a great idea but update with lighter weight materials, like acrylic tub and pine cabinet/case.

lbe - November 9, 2013 Reply

A similar concept…

Jay - May 27, 2014 Reply

This is cute but not practical to own, that’s why they never continued them very long. It’s a collector piece if you have the room and the audience to enjoy the looks of this, but as of value and practicality I would say it’s too dated .

Renae - August 15, 2014 Reply

Love it! Need it! Want one! I wanna take a bath in the middle of the woods ;o)

ACV - January 7, 2015 Reply

My aunt and uncle owned one of these that they were still using in their home in a rural area of Oklahoma where they only had electricity and a party line telephone. I remember bathing in it when I was 12 around 1970. It is a great piece! They had an outhouse, but the bathing took place in a room in the house. Originally you had to drain the tub into another container to drain the water, but my uncle had a drain set up where it went through the floor to a trough that ran along the side of the house with a piece of screen that caught anything other than the bath water, and would end up in the garden. My aunt kept it dusted and polished like the rest of the furniture, and thing looked like they had just bought it. I know they purchased it from a “wealthy farmers” son after he died in the 1940’s and had used it ever since. You could lower and lift the tub with one finger. The kerosene heater had the water heated within 20 mins. Great piece of equipment!!

bobbie watts - February 9, 2016 Reply

I have a murphy tub and would love to sell it. It is made of Chestnut and is in excellent shape it has been in our back room

OC Damsels - October 20, 2016 Reply

I found one for sale in Jerome AZ. I didn’t even know these existed! SO cool!

The Mosely Folding Bathtub – Newsnaut - October 15, 2019 Reply

[…] -via Messy Nessy Chic | Photos: Tiny House Blog […]

The Mosely Folding Bathtub – Wacky News - October 15, 2019 Reply

[…] -via Messy Nessy Chic | Photos: Tiny House Blog […]

Carolyn - April 12, 2020 Reply

I love the wooden tub. it is awesome. Thank you for the post.

James Martin - August 14, 2020 Reply

it’s a bathtub looking so funny. Hope that this tub will feel convenient and comfortable for every person.

Bennie Edwards - August 31, 2020 Reply

Wow this looks so old.

La baignoire escamotable Mosely, une baignoire dans un placard - 2Tout2Rien - December 24, 2020 Reply

[…] credit ebay via Tiny House Blog […]

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