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McFaddin-Ward House docent exhibit lecture on what it was like for Mamie McFaddin Ward to be a newlywed in her parents' home ca. 1920

McFaddin-Ward House docent exhibit lecture on what it was like for Mamie McFaddin Ward to be a newlywed in her parents' home ca. 1920


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  • 1. A New Family at Home Docent Exhibit Lecture Ware Petznick April 2008
  • 2. On being a “housewife…at home” A historic house museum exhibit lecture focusing on the life and expectations of Mamie McFaddin Ward as a newlywed living in her parents’ Beaumont, Texas, home, ca. 1920. How much could Mamie do at home? Have luncheons when Ida wasn’t? Arrange flowers? Organize linens from her trousseau? Keep up her facial routine and figure?
  • 3. Mamie McFaddin’s trendsetting Russian headdress and veil, May 1919… fashion continued beyond 1921
  • 4. “Setting up housekeeping?” Mamie McFaddin (1895-1982) married Carroll Ward (1891-1961) in her parents’ parlor on May 21, 1919 - within two months of Carroll’s decommission from the US Army Air Corps. Buy, build or be given a home Move furniture & trousseau to new house Engrave stationery Run household BUY furniture
  • 5. “Setting up housekeeping?” WPH McFaddin, Jr. married Amizetta Northcott in 1926 and moved from the third floor to his own home. JLC McFaddin married Rosine Blount in 1925 then moved from the third floor to his own home. (9th & Harrison) Mamie McFaddin married Carroll Ward May 1919… and moved across the hall from her parents.
  • 6. “A housewife’s duties” quot;The modern down-sized kitchen with planned work areas and electric appliances did away with the need for servants.― (Plante, 242). NOT IN THIS HOUSE. Full retinue of staff until it became more difficult to keep regular staff after World War II. Plante, Ellen M. The American Kitchen 1700 to the Present. Berkey & Gay advertisement for furniture! New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1995.
  • 7. On being a “housewife” ADVERTISING and products for women and for the home became part of an emerging consumer society. Many brands promoted ca. 1920 are still recognized today. ―The blushing bride of today should be the blooming matron of tomorrow, retaining the charm of girlhood’s freshness…‖ Duke Scriptorium, Palmolive Ad 1920.
  • 8. On being a “housewife” – name! No question of taking husband’s name… many monograms for Mamie McFaddin Ward became MMW… on this ring & on her Towle silver in the Mary Chilton pattern (1919, a wedding gift).
  • 9. Buster & Sybil Mamie & Carroll
  • 10. video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3147358394537366471 Buster Keaton is given a house as a wedding present… but he has to build it himself. “One Week” (1920)
  • 11. Buster & Sybil Mamie & Carroll 1920 1919 Given a house Moved into parents’ house Build from a kit Well-established house Few Mod Cons Lots of conveniences No domestic employees A staff ALONE but together LARGE HOUSEHOLD Do as they pleased Not the head of the house Low socio-economic level High socio-economic level Multiple generations under one roof, which would you choose?
  • 12. Entertainments & Duties SILENT MOVIES VICTROLA MUSIC (no Beaumont radio til Oct 1924) DINNER PARTIES TEA PARTIES BRIDGE and CARD PARTIES BEAUMONT COUNTRY CLUB SUN PORCH LOUNGES DAR – Beaumont Day Nursery
  • 13. See Docent Handbook in VC Silent Movies for list of movies in Mamie’s diaries Edith Day Allison Douglas Maclean
  • 14. Victrola Music – Opera & Rags 1983.191.7.2, Victrola Caruso Verdi 1983.191.7.4 Tiger Rag No radio in Beaumont until November 1924!
  • 15. Caldwell McFaddin played the piano a lot before he married in Music 1925. It was a time when you made your own entertainment.
  • 16. Now playing… Carmen – Canzone del Toreador Pasquale Amato with Victor Orchestra Enrico Caruso: A Dream (1920) Ain’t Got Nobody to Love – Margaret Young (Brunswick 2806A Dec 19, 1924) Billy Murray – Take me to that Land of Jazz (1919) Morton Downey, Sr. – Let the Rest of the World Go By (1925 - Ernest R. Ball composer) Victor Talking Machine - Moonglow (1921) Piccadilly Dance Band - How Long Has This Been Going On Edith Day - Irene (Show mentioned in MMW Diary) Al Jolson - You Made me Love You Flonzaley Quartet - Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes Edith Day – Alice Blue Gown Berceuse (Lullaby) from Jocelyn (Song in MWH Reserve Collection – Victrola) Harry Reser Tenor Banjoist - Tiger Rag (1918) (Song in MWH Reserve Collection – Victrola) Ted Lewis Jazz Band - The Moon Shines on the Moonshine (1920 - Columbia A2927 [79086]) Billy Jones, Arthur Hall & Irving Kaufman - Yes! We Have No Bananas (1923) Reinald Werrenrath - The Gypsy Trail (1917 - Singer in MWH Reserve Collection – Victrola 45109-A) Puccini - O Mimi tu Piu Non from La Boheme opera (1912 - Song in MWH Reserve Collection – Victrola 88327 – sung by Beniamino Gigli & Giuseppe de Luca)
  • 17. Entrance Hall Mail in two piles: For the McFaddins For the Wards
  • 18. Gold Lamé Opera Cape Conservation demands that we do not put this cape on display. Still, some lame is placed to suggest the period and this cape. See photo in touch basket. IN THE TOUCHBASKET
  • 19. Parlor MAMIE’S DIARY 1st ANNIVERSARY 1920 May 21 (Fri)—Helped Kydie for her tea aft at tea—Mama stayed in Kitchen night Mama Carroll & I went to meet Papa he spent day in Ho—Carroll & my anniversary married (1) year— LIST OF MUSIC PLAYING IN THE TOUCHBASKET
  • 20. Mamie’s Hope Chest Napery Banquet cloths Silence cloths Linens & lace Stored in hope chests Part of trousseau Bought, made & “recycled”
  • 21. A trousseau One tablecloth, six or eight yards long, of finest but untrimmed damask with embroidered monogram on each side, or four corners. Three dozen dinner napkins to match. (Lace inserted and richly embroidered tablecloths of formal dinner size are not in the best taste.) One tablecloth five to six yards long with two dozen dinner napkins to match. One to four dozen damask tablecloths two and a half to three yards long, and one dozen dinner napkins to match each tablecloth. All tablecloths and napkins to have embroidered monogram or initials. Two to six medium sized cut-work, mosaic or Italian lace-work tablecloths, with lunch napkins to match. Two to six centerpieces, with doilies and lunch napkins to match. Four to a dozen tea cloths, of filet lace or drawn work or Russian embroidery, with tiny napkins to match. Table pieces and tea-cloths have monograms if there is any plain linen where a monogram can be embroidered, otherwise monograms or initials are put on the napkins only. One or two dozen damask tablecloths, plain, with monogram, and a dozen napkins to match each.
  • 22. Dining Room 1984.1375.1-5 U HC Fry Glass, 1984.1347 Fry Glass Co. lemonade/iced tea glass with handle, acid etch mark (left). Lemonade Set with lid on pitcher (center & right) Like Mother like Daughter – this ca. 1920 luncheon shows an adherence to etiquette with doilies and fashionable glasses for iced tea at lunch.
  • 23. Did Mamie choose this pattern to Luncheon look like her Mother’s Limoges? ~1985.1354 HR Wyllie, Huntington WV ca. 1920 “WARRANTED 18 carat gold” Greek key pattern The traditional lunch table is quot;bare”… but it has a centerpiece, either round or rectangular or square, with place mats to match, made in literally unrestricted varieties of linen, needlework and lace. ..The place mats are round or square or rectangular to match, and are put at the places. Lillian B. Lansdown 1922
  • 24. Linen Storage 1986.80 Butler’s Pantry ―And the mistress should also take care of her own linen closet, unless 1986.68 she has a very trustworthy and competent servant; for linens should be worn alike, and not some worn constantly and others allowed to lie forgotten in corner 1986.36 of the closet.‖ Lillian Eichler Book of Etiquette 1921
  • 25. Flower Arranging U, 2A17c 1984.1067 Silver-plated flower shears Dazey flower frogs produced in 1920s – 1950s Something Mamie could do as a housewife in her mother’s house… 1920 Diary says: June 29 (Tues)—Kydie over & made candy & brown bread for me took her home about 3. At 4:30 Carroll & I went to China for wild flowers fixed flowers till 9:30 bed
  • 26. Cake & Ice Cream Ice cream server – NOTE THE NOTCH and gold wash blade Heisey Glass plates Heisey was a highly advertised and fashionable glass maker from Ohio in 1920 and beyond. Glass plates were recommended for ice cream. Note: doilies are ready to put between plate and service plate! 1986.68
  • 27. Prohibition? Prohibition lead to elaborate cocktail parties at home featuring alcoholic drinks and tidbits of food. It was still polite and correct to use a white or lightly colored damask tablecloth for formal dinner parties, but with the wild home parties and dignified ladies luncheons, bold fun prints on small lunch cloths came into vogue by 1929. The McFaddins had a recipe for gin from grain alcohol which they could access on the ranches. One of several “wine bottles” A Beaumont still - confiscated in the collection
  • 28. Emily Post, Etiquette, 1922 – Prohibition began in 1919 and was repealed in Texas on Nov. 24, 1933. So what are the wine glasses doing on the table?
  • 29. Breakfast trays 1985.1264
  • 30. Note the common features of the breakfast room: Breakfast Room Screen, bare table, centerpiece doily, Baroque legs Berkey & Gay, Grand Rapids, MI furniture purchased ca.1926 “Modern Dining Room” in Lucy A. Throop book, 1920
  • 31. Breakfast Room Eli Terry mantle clock, ca. 1820 1983.213 Colonial Revival antique purchase, rarely on display. Seth Thomas clock in Wallace Nutting’s Furniture Treasury, 1928
  • 32. Tea with From Etiquette, Emily Post 1922 Tassie Relaxing with wicker – a capstan stool, curate stand, Ida’s Rogers tea urn, Mamie’s Rogers Sterling tea set, John Maddock, Minerva china, Cairo pattern plates (1927)… doilies
  • 33. Small Bridge Party •Berkey & Gay chairs moved from Breakfast Room •Card tables in collection but only one folding chair! •Mechanical pencils to keep score, e.g. Wahls and Schaffer •Congress Playing Cards •CEW silver cigarette case •TUMBLERS with glass doilies – drinking GIN perhaps??? The McFaddins and Wards played bridge as a family. Before radio (1924) and television (1955) came to Beaumont, couples often played cards.
  • 34. Master & Green Ida’s command center DAR & Beaumont Day Nursery Rhinestone shoe buckles (vanity) Props of contemporary magazines Green Bedroom NOT MAMIE’s ROOM anymore – a guest bedroom
  • 35. Sleeping Porch is open now The glass coke bottles are props. But Mamie did write in her diaries going for a coca cola! McMein ad Oct 24
  • 36. 1920s advertisements boomed and elevated many name-brand products that are still being produced today!
  • 37. Sun Porch 1920 From Lucy Throop book
  • 38. Sun Porch 1983.211 CLIP ON ashtrays Lemonade instead of alcohol SISTER – Part of the family House & Garden May 1921
  • 39. Sun Porch 1921 Wicker furniture, hooked rugs, blinds over windows that surround the room – a SUN PORCH House and Garden, May 1921
  • 40. 1924 White House South Portico
  • 41. 1924 Van Dyck photo
  • 42. A tea table cloth similar to that shown at left would have been laid on a table such as this tilt-top table in the blue bedroom, if the McFaddin guests Silver gallery tray as shown wanted a cup of tea in in Etiquette (1922) their room. Minton individual tea set
  • 43. Pink Bedroom Etiquette is preserved in her wedding invitations …by announcing when they would be ―at home‖ Mamie now shares bedroom as a newly wed Twin beds were popular Soon after Great Influenza epidemic Simmons ―Built for sleep‖ Maybe she read ―A Guide to Men‖? 1987.503 Helen Rowland May 1921 House and Garden Simmons Ad 1922
  • 44. Pink - Closets 1921 A PROP FROM TEACHING COLLECTION 1920 Hat styles
  • 45. Pink Bedroom ca. 1920 rhinestone and silver hair pin NOTE one rhinestone is in STORAGE! 1924 ad
  • 46. Silent Movies THE SHEIK (Rudolph Valentino) First, the Sheik was a book – then it became a silent film with Valentino in 1921. Mamie & Carroll often went to the movies – they were much shorter films before talkies (about 20 minutes).
  • 47. Looking (& smelling) good Mamie maintained a facial routine, which involved domestic employees who would bring ice cubes up to her daily – so that she could close her pores after cleansing. Many ads of the 1920s encouraged keeping wedding day looks! Jicky by Guerlain (1889) was still popular in 1920s. The brown box is dated to the late 1910s, which we also have in the collection – suggesting a long-standing purchase of Guerlain perfumes by Mamie and Ida. The collection also has an unopened box, probably purchased sometime soon before Mrs. Ward died in 1982. Chanel No. 5 (May 5, 1921) was one of the most successful fragrances of the 20th century. Mamie wore it later in life, as shown by the post 1950 black plastic bottle we have, but it is possible she wore it as a newly wed.
  • 48. Third Floor The Third Floor is already dated to our period! Points to remember – WPH was filing law suits… drinking beer still??? Perry Jr. worked on the ranches and lived on the third floor Caldwell back and forth between Rice and then Harvard Law That is before the boys’ marriages in 1926 & 1925 respectively!
  • 49. Kitchen The kitchen was redecorated ca. 1940, so we must imagine a wood stove, more tables and an ice box. More electrical appliances were making their way to American homes, making household tasks easier for housewives, but this home had a full staff. Lemonade has always long been in order in the South, but it became especially popular to serve at luncheons, dances and church socials in the 1920s with Prohibition.
  • 50. Garden vase in Homes and Gardens, May 1921. Two such vases are in the rose garden as focal points. Fashionable homes also had fashionable gardens. 1920-1921 period brought several garden ornaments according to period magazines Garden of Eden , set Cote D’Azur in 1920s newly wed couple. Hemingway’s last (1995)