Mansions were destroyed by the great earthquake and ﬁre that rocked San Francisco on April 18, 1906, but humble washboards survived. Many who had lost their homes carried them to the tent city that sprang up in Golden Gate Park. Contemporary newspaper pictures show these hardy refugees using the boards within days of the disaster. Washboards were called “…a great American invention” by the New York Times in 1868, yet some historians claim the device originated in Scandinavia. The zinc scrubbing panel version was surely an American invention and was patented by Stephen Manlius in 1833.