This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
On special occasions when company is entertained or in large families, it is almost impossible to wash all the dishes in an ordinary dishpan; in fact, the large platters will not go in at all, so I devised the following method as a substitute for a larger pan. A tin disk was cut from the top of a tomato can with a can opener so as to be as round as possible, then a piece of cheesecloth was folded into an even square, the disk placed in the center and all four corners of the cloth drawn over to the center of the disk. A nail was driven through the center of the disk, to make a hole, through which a string was drawn with the nail and tied to it to form a loop on the head. This is used to stop the sink drain.
When this is put over the drain outlet the sink may be used as a dishpan. The same result could be obtained a little better with a piece of an old rubber boot or rubber coat, but usually this material is not at hand, and the cheesecloth will do almost as well. - Contributed by Hannah Jennings, Chicago.