Sometime later I visited Marlborough market and there I found a strange object made of dark green glass, rather like a mushroom, found by a boy in a local stream. I bought it for a few shillings as a 'glass paperweight', took it home and eventually sold it to a real collector, who told me that many of these objects had been found in the marshes of Holland when they dug the dykes and my 'stone' had great age and was a most interesting relic of a very primitive kind. The Netherlands had a great reputation for their clean water and grassy banks for drying the linen - and in the 18thC the French Royal Palaces sent their laundry there by coach for the whitest wash!
I now have another sycamore slickenstone in my laundry tool collection which reminds me to do my homework more thoroughly next time I FIND A MYSTERY OBJECT.
I also have a super- large posser or washing plunging tool for pushing the soapy water through the wet laundry, made in Wolverhampton, of copper, and a Victorian clothes line prop, a neat contraption of two sliding staves bound with leather, and fixed with little pegs for different heights. In the days when there were no commercial laundries, every large household had a lot of sturdy equipment for dealing with the large amounts of washing, and really large establishments had buildings set aside for the work and employed special staff.