This item was useful in the community wash houses. These boards, with their grooved scrubbing surfaces, made it easier to wash clothes before machines were invented. The grooved surfaces were made of wood ( Scandinavia), zinc or copper or iron or glass (American).They were framed in wood and usually factory made. The boards were placed in a hot tub of water, usually heated in the wash house, placed near a deadline and readied to wash on Mondays. Soap was handmade at the local soap works. The wash was put in wooden baskets and carried to the clothesline, pinned to hang in the sunshine.