The washing dolly is also known as a dolly-peg, dolly-pin or peggy-stick.
It was used in the nineteenth century, usually with hot water and soap to
clean clothes. Larger houses would have had an oven known as a copper for
heating water for the laundry. The clothes would be placed in a large tub
and the washing dolly would be plunged in. Washing in this way required
a great deal of energy. The dolly had to be not only plunged up and down,
but also twisted from side to side, to agitate the water as much as possible.
It is this method of agitation on which washing machines were based. The
first patent for a washing machine was as early as 1677. Many hand driven
machines were produced during the nineteenth century.