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Vintage Aluminum Thimbles for Musical Washboards
Kind to rub surface, produces soft tone, won't rust
Aluminum is a relatively soft metal. So aluminum thimbles are a good choice when you want to generate a mellow tone. Aluminum is also corrosion resistant, and won't rust. Thimbles made from brass, nickel and steel are harder metals that generate stronger tones than aluminum. But harder metals will gouge permanent tracks into the soft tin rub surface of a vintage washboard before you know it. Aluminum is softer than brass, nickel and steel. So aluminum thimbles are an especially good choice if you want that rare vintage washboard to last as long as possible.

Vintage "Advertising" Thimbles
Aluminum thimbles were popular advertising premiums from the 1920s to 1950s. That's why almost all vintage aluminum thimbles bear slogans or ads. They are commonly called advertising thimbles among collectors. The thimbles typically feature slogans or ads for commercial enterprise, special-interest groups, political organizations and the like. Most aluminum thimbles were manufactured in the United States. Aluminum thimbles bearing slogans were also prevalent in Europe, especially England.

Three Good Reasons to Choose Aluminum Thimbles
1. Rub Surface Lasts Longer
Vintage washboards sport a metal rub surface made from relatively soft metal such as brass, tin or zinc. That's why hard steel thimbles dig ruts into a vintage rub board so fast. But aluminum is a softer metal. So if you want your fine vintage metal rub surface to last longer, then choose thimbles made from a softer substance, such as aluminum. Likewise, the aluminum thimbles themselves will wear down faster than brass or steel thimbles. So like everything in life there's always a trade-off. But it's probably easier and less expensive to replace a few thimbles than a fully configured rare vintage washboard.

2. Generates Soft Tone
Thimbles made from steel or brass generate a louder "solid" tone on your washboard. But aluminum is less dense and lighter in weight. What's the result? Aluminum thimbles deliver a lighter "soft" tone. That's why so many musicians favor aluminum thimblesóbecause the sound is less likely to overpower your bandmates.

3. Fits Your Finger Like a Glove
Aluminum is malleable. That means it's soft. In fact, aluminum is so soft, that over time an aluminum thimble will conform to the shape of your finger (kind of like breaking in a pair of new shoes). Steel and brass thimbles will conform to the shape of your finger too. But not nearly as fast as aluminum.
aluminum malleable thimble 1

Over time, aluminum thimbles conform to the shape of your finger.

aluminum malleable thimble 2 aluminum malleable thimble 3 aluminum malleable thimble 4

Selection Tip
Aluminum thimbles are best for these washboards

Aluminum thimbles however, are not so great for steel washboards. A steel rub surface is significantly harder than aluminum and will wear down and ruin aluminum thimbles in no time. That's why we do not recommend aluminum thimbles for steel washboards, especially Stainless Steel.

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Vintage Aluminum thimble Thimble, Vintage Aluminum

Excellent for all washboards. Best for brass, glass, tin, and zinc rub surface.