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What is a "Holystone"? Why was it called a "Holystone?

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A holystone is soft sandstone, often used to scrub the decks of ships. Sailors had to kneel as if in prayer when scrubbing the decks. Holystone was often called so because it is full of holes.

As Frank says in his comments below, think 'olde tyme' sandpaper.

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It's basically a rock that is used on wooden decks to scrub them clean. Think 'olde tyme' sandpaper. <br /><br />The softer summer growth rings in wood planking wear faster than the hard winter growth rings. The surface of the deck would become...

It's basically a rock that is used on wooden decks to scrub them clean. Think 'olde tyme' sandpaper. <br /><br />The softer summer growth rings in wood planking wear faster than the hard winter growth rings. The surface of the deck would become filled with ridges so the decks got sanded down with holystones.<br /><br />Usually done once a week on your hands and knees (prayer position). I'm guessing that's probably where the name comes from.

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