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History of the Game of Washers

Shortly after man stopped spending his entire day looking for food, i.e. the beginning of civilization, he needed something to do with his "free time". Below is a pictoral history of the game of washers with pieces discovered by our crack team of archaeologists.

SUMERIA 3600BC


This evidence shows that the first players preferred to play in "Washer Pits" rather than on Washer Boards. The tall figure on the right is carrying more dirt for these ancient washer pits in his hand woven basket.
The "Pit" is placed in the center of this tablet to convey how important the ringer was to the Sumerians. The four players at the top are probably waiting for the fresh dirt to be added to the pits and it looks like there are four more at the bottom waiting for the next washer game. The Leader is the big guy sitting down and he seems to be keeping score.
The first pitching washers were made of fired clay and because of this they were lighter than our washers today. The Sumerians lived between the Tigres and Euphrates rivers; the cradle of civilization. They figured out the wheel in about 4000BC so they could spend more time hanging out.


EGYPT 500BC

Although we are more familiar with the Pyramids and the Sphinx, monuments to the great Pharoahs, it was the middle class of Ancient Egypt who enjoyed playing the game of washers the most. You can see that evidence in this photo. The washer pits were prominently displayed in the front yard and were acknowledgement to visitors that "we are a friendly people", although they probably didn't say it in English because they were Egyptian. The large cylinders in the photo were more than likely barstools. Egyptian pitching washers were made of lapis lazuli.



GREECE 400BC

The famous Greek sculptor Myron created this piece at one of the first Olympic games. Although his technique is a little poor, Billius Bobbius was one of the ancient Greeks finest washer players. Greek pitching washers were more than likely marble. The one downside of being a Greek washer player was bending over to pick up your washers wearing that little toga.




ROME - 01 AD


Caesar Augustus introduced the washers game to the Romans. Washers may have been lost to the world forever if it were not for Augustus finding a pitching washer (see photo) off the coast of Athens. He is also credited for being the first to use the modern "Pitch" technique. Augustus would spend most of his time playing in singles tournaments because his little cherub friend (see photo) wasn't very good...drank too much. Roman washers were bronze of course.


MIDDLE AGES - 1000AD


The "Dark Ages" as some call it was not a very good time for washer pitching. We figure because it was too dark for anyone to
see the damn things. We show this image however because it seems to support one of our historical theories.
God may have actually introduced
Adam and Eve to the game of washers in the Garden of Eden. It was probably when he mentioned something about a tree. Probably should have told them before he showed them how to play washers.


ITALY - 1500 AD


Da Vinci was a man of great knowledge. This drawing represents the proportions of mankind. da Vinci understood that washers was a game of great balance and playing the game was necessary if man was too reach his full human potential.He was also an avid player but this is the only remaining sketch proving our theory.

THE GOOD OLD USA - 1873


Many theories abound about the history of washers in America and these are the main two:
Washer History Theory 1: Pioneers used to take breaks during their long journeys and used the spare washers for their wagon wheels to play the game.
Washer History Theory 2: West Texas oil field workers used to play the game using the washers from the oil derricks.
All that we know for sure is that someone that came to America had great great great grandparents who were friends of da Vinci!!!!

THE GOOD OLD USA 1920


Part of the appeal of the game for us here at Bombat Washer Co. is it's simplicity and the ease with which people can learn to play and enjoy the game. In the past it has been played in it's most basic form; with hardware store washers and tuna cans or coffee cans for targets. It was a game that didn't cost much and therefore could be enjoyed by everyone regardless of status.

It is a game that has been passed on from generation to generation. Much like a story that is passed down, washers has changed over the years and is played in many variations from region to region. The game is played all over the United States and it's territories as well as Europe, Mexico and some parts of South America. We feel that the game more than likely derived from old European "tossing" games.

Lighter than horseshoes, it allows men, women and children to play against one another. A simple but "not as easy as it looks" game that involves getting outdoors and competing, washers is first and foremost a game that brings people together and for that we say CHEERS!





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