Foundation

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In 1922, Pascal Paddock builds his first pool for the city of Lancaster, California. Two years later, he started Paddock Pools, mostly in order to win the contracting bids to build public pools in the west. A few years later, Paddock begins using white plaster to finish and waterproof his pools. He also devises a method of pouring the entire pool shell as a monolithic structure, eliminating expansion joints. Southern California landscape architect Philip Ilsley, considered by some the father of the pool industry, begins incorporating pools into some of his new home backyards. Later in the decade, he revolutionizes the industry with an oval-shaped pool with curved walls made of hand-packed, or dry-packed, concrete over steel.

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In 1938, Ilsley, who was chairman of the board of the Paddock Engineering Company, one of the nation’s oldest and largest concerns in the design and manufacture of swimming pools, introduced spray-pressure Gunite, an innovation which revolutionized the swimming pool industry. World War II delayed the boom, but between 1948 and 1957, private swimming pool ownership in the United States exploded from 2,500 to some 57,000 with 33,000 built in 1956 alone. Ilsley also rewrote the book on swimming pool shapes and pioneered the now ubiquitous kidney shape and other designs.

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Pascal Paddock and Philip Ilsley had no idea that what they would invent, would ultimately change people forever. Pool skating would eventually come from these humble construction beginnings. Thank you gentlemen. Skate- Ozzie

Addendum

Arto Saari text me and said that he really liked this post but he added that Alvar Aalto introduced the kidney-shaped swimming pool in Finland in 1939… Looks pretty good to me.

Villa Mairea by Alvar Aalto

Villa Mairea by Alvar Aalto

 

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