from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A barrel to hold clothes which are pounded in hot water with a heavy pestle or pounder to clean them.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
If the pounding-barrel is lacking, the next best thing is -- after a vigorous shaking -- to leave the breadths spread upon the grass, subject to the visitations of wind and rain.
In the very watches of the night preceding Monday morning, a preternatural stir below stairs, and the thunder of the pounding-barrel, announced that the washing was to be got out of the way before daylight, so as to give "ample scope and room enough" for the more pleasing duties of the season.
"pounding-barrel," I must explain that it is an ordinary, tight, hard-wood barrel; the virtue lying in the pounder, which may be a broom-handle, or, what is still better, the smooth old oak or ash handle of a discarded rake or hoe.
"pounding-barrel" and invited to part with every particle of dust which they have accumulated from the foot of man.