So what exactly is a bundling board and why am I bringing it up now? Well first of all it came up quite innocently in a conversation over ice cream – I said over the ice cream not about the ice cream. One of our friends, Susan, did not know what it meant and when I hear that kind of response, I say to myself, “BLOG”.
Bundling boards were believed to have originated in the Netherlands or the Brittish Isles and were used as a form of courtship. The young couple would be able to be intimate but not sexually. They could talk through the night but no nooky. The practice was limited to the winter months; the boy usually spent the night at the girl’s residence where her parents would give them separate blankets and put the board between them. This courtship practice was more prevalent in New England and among the Amish people and the Mennonites. It was one way to stay warm through the long cold winter nights!
In later years, the practice of bundling was extended to visitors who needed to spend the night before their long return journey home. most households did not have guest rooms and so sharing a bed was the only solution. This practice remained alive well into the mid 19th Century.
There was also a commercial use of the bundling board – beds were scarce, travelers aplenty so depending on where you were in the country, you mi ght find yourself at an inn where you not only shared a room with several strangers, for an additional fee, you could rent half a bed, that is one with a bundling board of course.
This is a bundling board
Due to the unexplainable popularity of this post, I did a follow-up blog with more history and research on the subject. Click on the link below to see the post.