In the days before water was piped into homes and machines could do the hard work, clothes and bed linen had to be washed outside by hand. Doing the laundry was a long and arduous process. The washing dolly was an early implement for making it a little easier.
This dolly is 81 cm high and is made of wood. It has a crossways handle at the top and six legs radiating out of the base. Using the dolly involved a combination of a downward and rotational movement to move the laundry around in a swirling and twisting motion. This would have been strenuous work but was still in use in some areas well into the 20th century.
The dolly, and its near relation the posser, were used with a washtub. Early tubs were wooden and stave-built. But by the end of the 19th century, zinc 'Dolly Tubs' were available, and these were lighter and easier to clean.