The earliest settlers in America took their meals at a bord or borde-literally a wooden plank or two, set on a trestle. This arrangement made sense because it could be dismantled after dining to make room for other activities-an important consideration in modest dwellings. to 'set the table' for dinner meant, literally, to set trestle and board in front of those who intended to dine. We also reference that early arrangement whenever
we speak of 'room and board'.
taken from "The Kitchen Linens Book" by EllynAnne Geisel