I have never seen one like this have you ? Dated 1899
Yes it is wood. Came from an auction that had mostley german antiques. The best I can come up with is it Pennsylvania Dutch/German but I have never seen one like it.
I have seen German/Dutch wooden wash boards. The story I have heard is that they were often a gift a man gave to his betrothed....
Hmm...will you marry me honey? Here's a wash board. LOL!
An all-wood washboard was not very practical, but was pressed into use by pioneers because it was that or nothing else. The wood ripples will wear down. Later washboards used a wooden frame and a galvanized (zinc coated) steel ripple plate. Hand operated washing machines incorproated curved washboards using essentially the same design as a straight washbosrd.
If you know the area from whence your board came from, then contact a museum in that area that specalizes in early home equipment. They may be able to help with identification.
LOL Linda.....yes, I can believe that. My second husband gave me a garbage can and a rifle for Christmas one year. Very romantic......but actually I needed both.
Small wash boards were used for dainty personal stuff.
I remember my mother had a small glass washboard...glass set into a wooden frame. It lived in the cupboard under the bathroom sink, and washed things that were too dainty to go into the Thor, or be sent to the laundry.
I have a lot of good friends in the Amish Community and to this day it is still their custom that during courtship young men will make a number of kitchen & household utensils as gifts for their betrothed.
Now on the subject of washboards. My grandmother had a wooden washboard such as the one shown here, which she kept in her bedroom. On washday one of us boys had to take a couple buckets of hot water into the bedroom where she would hand wash what she referred to as her "Delicates & unmentionables", which were then hung to dry on a line in her bedroom because a lady never hung her delicates on a line in public view.
Caliope, funny you should mention the garbage can & rifle.
One year on Mothers day weekend I was out in the driveway mounting a new outboard motor on my boat when my wifes nosey GF drove in. The GF asked me, What did you get Bev for Mothers Day?
Without looking up I replied, this here outboard motor.
"What kind of a Mothers day gift is that", she asked?
I replied, "Not that its any of your business, but I thought it was rather thoughtful, this year when we go fishing she won't have to row the boat!"