<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)

This rubboard or vest frottoir was made by Tee Don Landry in Duson, Louisiana, in 2001. It is made of corrugated stainless steel, serial #123. The vest frottoir is worn over the chest and is held in place with two curved arms placed over the shoulders. This instrument is played as a rhythm instrument by rubbing either bottle openers or spoons on the corrugation. There is a maker’s inscription on the back of the frottoir.

According to the donor, the earliest frottoirs were wash boards tied around the neck. This frottoir was made in the same style and process as the donor's father, Willie Landry. Landry, a welder at a refinery is said to have made the first molded rubboard, metal chest plate that fits/hangs above and around the shoulder. His first rubboard was said to have been made for the zydeco musicians, Clifton and Cleveland Chenier in the early 1947.

Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Chenier, Clifton
Chenier, Cleveland
Landry, Tee Don
place made
United States: Louisiana, Duson
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 10 7/8 in x 13 3/8 in x 23 1/2 in; 27.6225 cm x 33.9725 cm x 59.69 cm
ID Number
serial number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Don Landry in memory of Willie Landry
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Musical Instruments
Music & Musical Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Note: Comment submission is temporarily unavailable while we make improvements to the site. We apologize for the interruption. If you have a question relating to the museum's collections, please first check our Collections FAQ. If you require a personal response, please use our Contact page.