There has never been a more versatile creation by man than the #10 wash tub. It could be used just as the name describes.. for washing. But it makes a great container for holding those tadpoles that you dipped out of the nearby ditch… or it was great for housing turtles or frogs or any other sort of creature that wasn’t capable of reaching up those slick galvanized sides to escape.
But the main thing I remember them being used for was crop harvesting. Yes, I can remember many a day with a #10 wash tub full of butter beans or snap beans of peas (called May peas by some and June peas by others…. I guess determined by the month you picked them) or freshly picked ears of Silver Queen corn.
It always amazed me just how much would fit inside one of those things. I can remember sitting under a tree with a large Tupperware bowl transferring the freshly picked veggies to the bowl for shelling… then sitting there for days on end until every last pea or bean or ear had be shelled, snapped or shucked. My fingers would be raw by the time we finally got through… and I would have lost an ENTIRE day of my summer break with those stupid wash tubs and those idiot vegetables. Or that was the way I felt until my grandmother would tell us it was time to eat.
Then all of a sudden.. all that shelling and snapping and shucking didn’t seem quite so bad!