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Length: Most pools in the world are measured in metres, but in the United States pools are often measured in feet and yards.

In the UK most pools are calibrated in metres, but older pools measured in yards still exist.

Ancient Greeks and Romans built artificial pools for athletic training in the palaestras, for nautical games and for military exercises.

Roman emperors had private swimming pools in which fish were also kept, hence one of the Latin words for a pool was piscina.

In the US, the Racquet Club of Philadelphia clubhouse (1907) boasts one of the world's first modern above-ground swimming pools.

The first swimming pool to go to sea on an ocean liner was installed on the White Star Line's Adriatic in 1906.

In 1939, Oxford created its first major public indoor pool at Temple Cowley.

The modern Olympic Games started in 1896 and included swimming races, after which the popularity of swimming pools began to spread.

Interest in competitive swimming grew following World War I. Home swimming pools became popular in the United States after World War II and the publicity given to swimming sports by Hollywood films such as Esther Williams' Million Dollar Mermaid made a home pool a desirable status symbol.

More than 50 years later, the home or residential swimming pool is a common sight.

The coffee was kept hot over a fire; club members had to tread water and drink coffee at the same time.

The last swimmers managed to overturn the raft, to the amusement of 150 spectators.

Opened on 23 April 1925, it measured 1,000 by 150 ft (300 by 50 m) and was so large that the lifeguards required kayaks for patrol. One of the largest swimming pools ever built was reputedly created in Moscow after the Palace of Soviets remained uncompleted.

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