Antique Laundry Items Are Still Popular Collectibles | Ancient information and history education


Would you pay $ 149 for a wood and glass washboard made in the 1940s? How about $ 114 for an old clothes wringer from the 1920s? These items find their place in restaurants and homes as decorative objects.

The collection of old laundry items started in earnest 10 years ago. The items were well priced. These days, prices depend on where you find them.

One of the most popular items is the washboard. They were made of so many materials and sizes that a collection could decorate an entire wall. Even potters like Bennington made washboards in the 19th century, as did others using a brown or marbled Rockingham glaze. As a rarity, collectors are willing to pay several hundred dollars for one.

Late 19th-century washboards were colorful, with advertising filling the space above the soap tray. At that time, washboards were also made in yellow and framed in pine. A real find would be an early washboard with a sculpture or folk art painting.

Vintage washboards are popular and can cost as little as $ 20. Among them were those with materials such as glass, copper, wood, pewter, cast iron, and glass ribbed in a herringbone pattern.

A wooden and glass washboard.

When you can find them, the seller’s samples of laundry items, from washboards to mangles or wringers, are expensive. The mangles are small, made of wood and iron.

Old irons can make great doorstops or paperweights.

And who would think that spinners from the turn of the 20th century are serious collectibles? Collectors look for those whose manufacturers’ marks are still intact and in various forms.

You can’t have laundry collectibles without old boxes that once held Staley’s starch or early soap flakes. Put on a shelf, they can be almost as interesting as a Currier and Ives print. Other popular items are magazine ads featuring laundry items and hung up like works of art.

Don’t forget the clothespins. You would be amazed at the great variety made from the mid 19th century. The rarest and most expensive are the Shaker clothespins.

Clues: There are reproductions of 20th century washboards with printed advertising labels. Look for a small “copyright” number. Only buy items in good condition.

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