Helen Hyde (1868-1919)
Friday's Child, April 13, 1917
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
10 x 14 in (25.40 x 35.56 cm)
8824 / INV. # 02216652
Condition: Fine condition and color. In February of 1917, Hyde attended an exhibition of her woodccuts in Columbia, South Carolina; from there she traveled to Charleston where she was the guest of Elizabeth Pringle. It was on Ms. Pringle's plantation where Hyde most likely painted this charming study. Hyde created a print titled "The Joggling Board" 1918,Mason cat. No. 144, in which the same "Joggling Board" appears. This was most likely the porch of Ms. Pringle's home. Joggling boards are typically 16 feet long and made of flexible pine painted Charleston green (a tint so dark it almost appears black). Although they are mainly used for decoration or fun seating today, they actually started out as an exercise device. According to legend, the first joggling board was built at Acton Plantation in Sumter County in the early 1800s. The owner of the plantation, Cleland Kinloch, was a widower who invited his widowed sister Mary Huger to run the household. That woman developed rheumatoid arthritis that made it too painful for her to do many activities. Riding in a carriage that was outfitted with a rocking chair was one of the few things she could enjoy. Upon hearing this, the Kinloch’s relatives in Scotland devised an apparatus that would simulate the movement of a carriage ride and gently “joggle” its occupant back and forth, up and down, providing a little exercise and joint pain relief. The result was the joggling board. Soon many houses in Charleston and across the state had joggling boards. They provided a fun way to relax on your porch or in your yard as you enjoyed the breezes and took a break from the southern heat. Throughout the 19th century they became so ubiquitous that they made their way into some of life’s most important events. Another popular use was to rock babies to sleep. Nannies were often seen soothing fussy infants with the gentle swaying motion.