Family rooms

Now available: old photos of the Family Dining Room, Master Bedroom, and Living Room in the 19th century. These were tricky to date, and I might not have them right yet.

UPDATE: I went back in and found a few pictures that offered zoom functionality. This allowed me to get more detailed captures of parts of the image, which was helpful in the case of the stereographs. Still working on the Red and Green, State Dining, Yellow Oval, and north and south face pictures.

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12 thoughts on “Family rooms

  1. Nice photos, Derek! At least one change – “A Hayes Bedroom” is “THE” Hayes Bedroom, used by the President and Lucy. The other photo is the State Bedroom with the draped Lincoln bed, continuing to be a guest room.

  2. I still can’t understand why the State Guest Room would be placed right next door to the President. It would have made more sense across the hall or even in one of the smaller bedrooms underneath the north portico (where it was occasionally.) Also, do you notice anything under the State Bed? Is it a support? Is it an “under the bed” storage unit? This is the photo in the Living Room section.

  3. I started to get confused between the two rooms because of the label “state bedroom” and the fact that the new pictures looked more like a guest room than the guest room does. I decided I needed to re-read Seale or at least get input from you all. Thanks!

  4. Very interesting pics – but I’m totally lost when you try to date them. There are so many subtle differences. In general I would say that the plainer the rooms and the less pattern, the closer to 1900 you are. The turn-of-the-century “colonial revival” reaction to heavy mid-victorian. Those hoses from the gas fixtures down to the lamps on the tables are a hoot. I wonder how safe they were?

    Have you noticed, in these b&w photos, that there seems to be a very small carved, gilded bracket and the very back,bottom edge (just where it meets the wall) of the original Lincoln Bed canopy that wasn't reproduced for the new canopy in the Lincoln Bedroom? Maybe the people doing the 2006 (?) room dedcided that there wasn't a photo with enough detail to reproduce it accurately.

  5. Wow! All that carpet in the East Room and not a vacuum cleaner in the place… or any other place, for that matter! Did they take all of that up each spring, or did they just put matting on top of it? Taking all those strips of carpet up would be almost as much fun as rolling up the pavement of a parking lot! And if they *did* take it up – where in the world did they STORE it?

  6. Since we’re talkig about Family Rooms in the 19th century – I was looking at the floorplan of the 2nd floor of the Lincoln White House – and realized that the partition that Lincoln had installed to create a private hallway from his office to the Oval Room would have thrown the “vestibule” waiting room (today’s Treaty Room/President’s Office) into near-total darkness! I suppose it would have had gaslight fixtures of some kind – and possibly a gasolier remaining from when the room was “whole”, but still – boy, would that have been a dark room. UNLESS the partition didn’t go all the way up to the ceiling and allowed some natural light to reach that vestibule. Hmmmmmm….

  7. I guess it wasn’t a high priority to make the office-seekers waiting in that room TOO comfortable, was it?! (he-he-he…)

  8. All they need to do was to make the wall 3″ taller than Lincoln. He didn’t wear his stove pipe hat in the office.

    I’ve actually thought about that, too. I would hope that they would have allowed the natural light to come in through the tops of the windows. But, unless he walked quietly on the carpet, people would have heard him. Also, the door to the Office/Cabinet Room was up several steps because of the difference in the height of the floor between the two rooms.

    I wonder if those old carpet sweepers had been invented by then. You know, they are non-electric but had roller brushes in them. My mother and grandmother had them for quick pick ups on the rugs.

  9. My understanding is that President Flintstone imported baby mammoths to vacuum the carpets. I think they stayed around until Wilson’s time; I remember pictures of them grazing on the south lawn.

  10. Dennis – that’s probably exactly what they used. You can actually still get them – charmingly called “Hokey Sweepers”, or some such thing.

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