A New Family at Home
Docent Exhibit Lecture
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?
Organize linens from her trousseau?
Keep up her facial routine and figure?
Mamie McFaddin’s trendsetting Russian
headdress and veil, May 1919… fashion
continued beyond 1921
“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
“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 &
Mamie McFaddin married
Carroll Ward May 1919…
and moved across the hall
from her parents.
“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.
On being a “housewife”
and products for women and for the
home became part of an emerging
consumer society. Many brands
promoted ca. 1920 are still
―The blushing bride of
today should be the
blooming matron of
tomorrow, retaining the
charm of girlhood’s
Duke Scriptorium, Palmolive Ad 1920.
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).
Buster Keaton is given a house as a wedding present… but
he has to build it himself. “One Week” (1920)
Buster & Sybil Mamie & Carroll
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
under one roof, which
would you choose?
Entertainments & Duties
(no Beaumont radio til Oct 1924)
BRIDGE and CARD PARTIES
BEAUMONT COUNTRY CLUB
SUN PORCH LOUNGES
DAR – Beaumont Day Nursery
See Docent Handbook in VC
Silent Movies for list of movies in Mamie’s diaries
Edith Day Allison Douglas Maclean
Victrola Music – Opera & Rags
1918.104.22.168, Victrola Caruso Verdi 1922.214.171.124 Tiger Rag
No radio in Beaumont until November 1924!
Caldwell McFaddin played the piano a lot before he married in
Music 1925. It was a time when you made your own entertainment.
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 )
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)
Mail in two piles:
For the McFaddins
For the Wards
Gold Lamé Opera
that we do not put this
cape on display. Still,
some lame is placed to
suggest the period and
this cape. See photo in
IN THE TOUCHBASKET
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
Mamie’s Hope Chest
Linens & lace
Stored in hope chests
Part of 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.
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.
Did Mamie choose this pattern to
Luncheon look like her Mother’s Limoges?
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
―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
U, 2A17c 1984.1067
Silver-plated flower shears
Dazey flower frogs produced in 1920s – 1950s
Something Mamie could do as a housewife in her
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
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!
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
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?
Note the common features of the 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
Eli Terry mantle clock,
ca. 1820 1983.213
rarely on display.
Seth Thomas clock in
Furniture Treasury, 1928
From Etiquette, Emily Post 1922
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
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.
Master & Green
Ida’s command center
DAR & Beaumont Day Nursery
Rhinestone shoe buckles
Props of contemporary magazines
NOT MAMIE’s ROOM anymore –
a guest bedroom
The glass coke bottles are props.
But Mamie did write in her
diaries going for a coca cola!
McMein ad Oct 24
1920s advertisements boomed and
elevated many name-brand products
that are still being produced today!
A tea table cloth
similar to that shown
at left would have
been laid on a table
such as this
table in the blue
bedroom, if the
Silver gallery tray as shown wanted a cup of tea in
in Etiquette (1922) their room.
Minton individual tea set
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
Pink - Closets 1921
A PROP FROM
1920 Hat styles
ca. 1920 rhinestone and silver hair pin
NOTE one rhinestone is in STORAGE!
First, the Sheik was
a book – then it
became a silent film
with Valentino in
Mamie & Carroll often went to the movies – they were
much shorter films before talkies (about 20 minutes).
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.
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
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.
Garden vase in
Homes and Gardens, May 1921.
Two such vases are in the rose
garden as focal points.
Fashionable homes also had
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)