The Economy Washboard by The Canadian Woodware Co.
Another Auction sale buy – the Economy washboard manufactured by the “The Canadian Woodware Co. in St. Thomas, Ontario – Canada.
This company has been making washboards since the company’s founding about 1916 in St Thomas.
It is made with a wooden frame and the brand name is written in large letters on the front and reads “Economy”. This washboard features a metal grate that is in very good condition. That metal grate means you can make music with it if that’s your thing. It measures 31cm x 60 cm x 4cm and construction is strong and sturdy with no excessive imperfections.
A washboard is a tool designed for hand washing clothing. Clothes are soaked in hot soapy water in a washtub or sink, then squeezed and rubbed against the ridged surface of the washboard to force the cleansing fluid through the cloth to carry away dirt. Washboards may also be used for washing in a river, with or without soap. Then the clothes are rinsed.
I am thankful for my washing machine, and the dryer.
My mother would tell stories of having to do the laundry by hand in the cold of winter. These were the days before washing machines, before indoor plumbing and running water. The clothes had to be taken to the wash house, clothes were rinsed in cold water, and during the winters my mother’s hands would be red, raw and swollen because of the icy temperatures.
I do not remember my mother ever using a washboard, but I do remember my mother’s first wringer washer and next to it a centrifuge, to get rid of as much water in the clothes.
Washing machines have improved since then and thanks to modern technology, laundering clothes is much less of a chore. Thankfully laundry is done no longer on a specific day of the week, which was usually Mondays; it is no longer a chore that took a whole day; it is no longer dependant on the weather (even though clothes dried outside on the clothesline smell so nice and fresh); now we just throw a load of laundry in the washer, the dryer and hopefully the clothes make it out of the dryer on the same day. Oh, the luxury! Let’s not complain anymore about doing laundry!
“Plunge & Scrub” – a line from a favourite movie of mine,
“Far and Away”, with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman