Washboards are called a “great American invention” but there is evidence that wooden washboards were used in Europe before the 19tn Century. At the turn of the 19th Century washboards were not yet standard household equipment in the U.S.
Metal washboards are surely a “great American invention”. 1833 offers a good clear-cut date in their story. On February 9th 1833, Stephen Rust of Manlius, NY patented a new idea: a "Wash Board" with a piece of "fluted tin, sheet iron, copper or zink". (Found at the US Patent Office. It appears to be the first patent for a metal washboard.)
One at Smith Tavern states “A White Wood Product No 13D Super Class Family Size High Grade Finest Crystal Glass” from Western Washboard Sales, Chicago, Bogal USA.
Another states “National Washboard Co., No. 801, Trade Marks Reg, U.S. Pat. Off. Made in U.S.A., Chicago, Saginaw, Memphis”.
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