LOGAN, Ohio (WJW) — There is only one manufacturer of washboards in the United States and they make more than 15 thousand of them each year. Believe it or not, they are made right here in the state of Ohio. Our traveling man David Moss took us to the Columbus Washboard Company on a One Tank Trip.
The Columbus Washboard Company is located in Logan, a town located between Athens and Columbus.
“It was founded in 1895 in Columbus, Ohio. And then the family had grown tired of running the business,” Owner of the Columbus Washboard Company Jacqui Barnett said. “And we’re going to sell everything. A group of us got together and purchased it and moved it to Logan.”
Now this is the only washboard company in the U.S. Surprisingly, today, there are people who still use washboards to do laundry.
“When I went to China for a month, I took my washboard with me and my clothesline and closed pens and soap and did my laundry while I was there for a month,” Barnett said. “There were people in apartment buildings who still like to use washcloths, especially during the pandemic, because a lot of the laundromats were closed and people were forced to do the laundry at home.”
If you’re serious about using a washboard for your clothes, you’ll be happy to know that the Columbus Washboard Company also sells their own soap.
But, washboards aren’t just for cleaning.
“So we have a lot of washboard musicians coming in and testing them and trying to sound hear the different sounds and different resonance,” Barnett said. “Well, one of our big customers is Disney, and we do a special board for them. They have a hoop to do a review and they get people to play along. And they also use it as a serving tray for the food.”
Throughout the retail area at the Columbus Washboard Company, there are numerous washboards on display, some are more than 150 years old. In the back, you’ll find the assembly area where washboards are manually assembled.
There are also guided tours three times a day, where you can get a close-up view of the actual construction of a new washboard.
For more about the Columbus Washboard Company, click here.