Object of the Month: August 2018

Wooden washboard

Hot summer days call for an object linked to water. History of hygiene cannot be separated from the history of medicine and health. The Medical Museum collections include multiple washbasins, chamber pots or toilet sets, as well as a wooden washboard from the Vysočina (Czech-Moravian Highlands) region, dating from the late 1800s. Grooved wooden washboards and lye soup were used for laundry as early as the 18 century, during the 19 century washboards were often made of corrugated metal, but also glass, stone or earthenware. Late in the 19 century mechanical washing machines were introduced, in which two wooden washboards rubbed against each other. Women continued to scrub laundry on the washboard, however, until the 1950s.

A large collection of washing technology can be seen in the Svitavy museum.

Medical Museum Collection, Z 32: photo Veronika Löblová