Shown here is one style of what we would call an old washstand. These were used in Germany in the 1600’s for washing your fingers before eating. Yes, I did say fingers instead of hands. You didn’t wash both hands, instead you washed only the first two fingers and thumb of each hand. No housewife wanted to waste water, and the first two fingers and thumb is all you use when eating. (Notice next time you eat…this is true!) And, I’m sure that if you are the one who has to go outside with a bucket, draw the water from a well, and then lug it inside to use, you don’t want to be making a lot of trips to the well.