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Keeping up with the Parrishes, 2017

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

This online exhibit was created entirely by our four Summer Interns in 2017 (Hannah, Charlotte, Annabel and Emily) who ranged at the time from a Sophomore in High School to a Sophomore in College. This was another exhibit featured exclusively on our social media feeds that will now live here on our blog. The exhibit featured daily objects featured in the Rogers Mansion Samuel Parrish exhibit that you could imagine him or his wife Clara using in their day to day lives.


Samuel Parrish had a love of many things: national and international affairs, politics, and collecting art. He also had a passion for gathering people together, so in the spirit of cultivating friendships, he would hold elegant dinners, tea parties, and fun luncheons. Parrish never left anything to chance, and would plan everything himself from the decor to the menu, taking care to make sure each guest would be entertained their entire stay.


This white and grey oval marble top pedestal table is from the Madeleine White Estate. Although there are no inscriptions so pinpointing the year of production is hard, the use of marble for tabletops and the use of scrolls was implemented in furniture during the Rococo Revival (1845-1870). During this time, expensive woods were used for furniture, and when lesser woods were used, they were painted to appear of a higher grade. The more pricey woods were walnut, rosewood, and mahogany. Given that the inhabitants of Rogers Mansion were fairly wealthy, one could expect to find a piece of nice furniture such as this table in the house. The marble table is located in the Dining Room on the first floor.


The concept of afternoon tea time has been a tradition not long rooted in English culture, but has been an impactful one. Tea time was originated in the 1660’s by King Charles, but did not become a popular pastime until 1840, by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. It is said that the Duchess would get hungry around 4PM and could not wait until supper (which was usually around 8PM) to eat, so she would ask that a tray of tea, bread and butter, and cake be brought to her room. As her habit for the request grew, she invited her friends to join her, and during the 1880’s, it became fashionable for upper-class women to get dressed up for tea, which would be served between four and five in the afternoon. Around this time also, the trend moved to America, where wealthy households adopted the tradition. The tea set is located in the Dining Room on the first floor.


Due to butter and bread being a staple of the late 19th century diets, butter churning was a common practice. Created in 1895, this silver plated butter dish contained the necessity in a tasteful fashion. It was created by the Meriden Britannia Company which was founded in 1852. They were considered to be the largest silverware company at the time. The butter dish is located in the Dining Room on the first floor.


Decorated by hand through the use of rotating wheels, cut glass originated in Egypt, in 1500 BCE. The American Flint Glass Manufactory sold the first cut glass produced in America, around 1771. Although cut class had been in production since 1500 BCE, it surged in popularity in the late 19th century. The glass during this time period was detailed with geometric patterns and prisms, and signified the wealth of its owner. The sherry glasses are located in the Dining Room on the first floor.


During the 17th and 18th centuries, small pictures of family and loved ones were painted on vellum, copper, and ivory. These small pictures, also known as miniatures, faded in popularity with the invention of the camera in 1839. Miniatures were used to connect people long distance, as kings would send miniatures of their daughters to possible suitors, soldiers would keep a miniature of their family during war, and wives would keep miniatures of their husbands while they were away. With photography, it became quicker and easier to have pictures on hand, so families would use the portraits as mementos, or if they were small enough, wear them as jewelry. The miniatures are located in the Dining Room on the first floor.


During Samuel Parrish’s role as Southampton village mayor from 1901 to 1903, he took a liking to his South Parlor in place of spare meeting rooms, around the house. He preferred to use this room to not only hold important meetings, but to also welcome and entertain his friends and family informally. An invitation to spend an evening in the South Parlor was rarely, if ever, refused.


The typewriter on display is the Underwood No. 5 manual standard typewriter. Invented by Franz X. Wagner circa 1900, The Underwood typewriter could type 84 characters and had a ribbon machine with glass topped keys. From the model number of the No. 5, it is determined that the typewriter on display was manufactured between 1920 and 1921. Millions of this model, in particular, would be made and sold in the first half of the 20th century, to literary professionals such as secretaries, journalists, and writers. The Underwood No. 5 was an archetypal model for typewriters manufactured after the company was bought out in the 1960’s. The typewriter is located in the South Parlor on the first floor.


The 2nd Floor Hall was used as a momentary oasis for the Parrish’s, where they could escape the hustle and bustle of the 1st floor and relax with a glass of whiskey, a cigar, and a game of cards or even a good book. The hall was only used for close friends and family, as you could spend hours around the table playing dominoes and catching up on the latest gossip.


This style of stereoscope is called a Holmes stereoscope, invented in 1861 by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Intended to be a more economical way to view pictures, the Holmes stereoscope consisted of only two lenses and a stand made of wood, to hold the stereocards. Due to its lightweight and portable design, this stereoscope remained in production for nearly a century, and sitting in the family room after the evening dinner and laughing over the stereo pictures became a normal occurrence in households. This stereoscope is from the Keystone View CO. in Meadville, P.A. The stereograph pictures are from a collection entitled Stereoscopic Treasures, photographed by F. G. Weller. The stereoscope is located in the hallway on the second floor.


This style of eyewear is called “lorgnette,” deriving from the french “lorgner,” meaning to take a sidelong look at. The first lorgnettes were developed in 1780 from scissor spectacles. Lorgnettes were popular in the 19th century, often used at the theater and opera. Women took interest in the lorgnette style, sparking new designs such as the “jealousy lorgnette.” The “scissors” handle is intricate, showing the wealth of the owner. The lorgnettes are located in the hallway on the second floor.


The game of dominoes is believed to have originated in China, around 1120 CE, although there is debate on when they were brought over to Europe (most say the 14th century). The game later moved from France to Britain in the late 18th century (presumably from French POAs). The word “domino” is believed to be of Latin descent from the word “dominus,” meaning “master of the house.” But the word has evolved over the years, first being the French black and white hood worn by Christian priests during the winter, then to a masquerade hooded costume with a small mask, then to just the mask, and finally to the domino playing set (mainly the 1-1 tile). The dominoes are located in the hallway on the second floor.


A nightcap of classic H. Upmann cigars was tradition in 1900’s households. H. Upmann cigars were notable at the time, imported from Cuba and used by famous figures such as Winston Churchill. The cigar holder has a handmade iron lock, as it was used for travel purposes. Along with cigars, whiskey was an ever present feature. These decadent whiskey glasses are etched with leaves and branches. The whiskey and cigar case make for a classy reminder of past times. The whiskey and cigars are located in the hallway on the second floor.


Invented in 1876, telephones were typically only found in wealthy households due to the price. This specific model, manufactured by Western Electric in 1915, is timeless and well maintained. From 1881 to 1996 the company served as a chief supplier to AT&T and is responsible for many cellular advancements. By 1920, Western Electric produced around 90% of the telephone supplies used in the United States. This 1915 telephone model is referred to as a Candlestick Telephone, due to its shape. The telephone is located in the hallway on the second floor.


Prior to modern technology, Americans were reliant on paper newspapers for updates on domestic and global issues. Harper's Weekly served as a political journal, incorporating varying voices on the political spectrum to enlighten their readers. The paper was popular during the Civil War, becoming the most widely read publication at the time. This issue, dated April 13, 1872, contains a political cartoon made by the famous cartoonist Thomas Nast. The cartoon is a comment on Horace Greeley's 1872 run for president. However the paper was not just political, and became the first American publication to publish a Sherlock Holmes cartoon. The newspaper is located in the hallway on the second floor.


“Bryant’s Poems” is a collection of poems written by author William Cullen Bryant. This book contains a collection of his various romantic poems. Published by the New York Hurst and Company Publishers in 1884. “Truths in Rhyme for Little Children” is a collection of limericks and poems for children with catchy rhymes guided by moral lessons. Published by the Mcloughlin Bros NYC in 1848, the book is illustrated with oil pictures related to each tale. “Reason in Rhyme for Little Children” is also a Mcloughlin bros book, and features small oil paintings for the different stories. The books are located in the hallway on the second floor.


Clara Blossom married Samuel Parrish on February 21, 1928, in New York City, where they lived in separate apartment in the New Weston Hotel for some time. Eventually Clara moved to Southampton with Samuel, and furnished her quite feminine room, which branched out into an equally feminine dressing room.


Prior to handkerchiefs, there was simply the kerchief. “Kerchief” derives from the French words couvrir, meaning “to cover,” and chef, meaning “head.” During the Middle Ages, kerchiefs were used as a head covering. By the 16th century, Europeans began to carry kerchiefs in their pockets, and used them to wipe their noses and foreheads. To distinguish one kerchief from another, the word “hand” was added to the word. Handkerchiefs are still widely used today, although the mass production of disposable tissues has made handkerchiefs less commonplace. The handkerchiefs are located in Clara’s Bedroom on the second floor.


Found on the dresser in Clara’s room, this vase is filled with various metal stickpins. The pins features purple gems, stones, and white shells. Stickpins, were originally worn by English gentlemen to control the folds of their cravats. In the 1890’s, women adopted stickpins and wore them as a fashion statement. Often made with pearls and gems, stickpins exhibit wealth of the owner. The stickpins are located in Clara’s Bedroom on the second floor.


Clara’s dressing room offered her a retreat from the masculinity of the rest of the house. Clara had an impressive array of accessories and products, including makeup, combs, brushes, hatpins, mirrors, perfume, etc. She would use this room to both prepare and dress herself in the morning, but also to lounge and read, as she probably had more time to do this than Samuel.


Sewing was a popular hobby for women in Clara Parrish’s time. She stored her various assortment of buttons, used on items such as jackets and pillows, in a small and fairly plain wicker container. Buttons were used as early as 2800 BCE, but back then they were used as ornaments. It wasn’t until the 13th century in Germany, when they were used to fasten pieces of clothing together like we think of them today. Buttons soon became widespread throughout Europe when in the 13th and 14th centuries snug fit clothing became fashionable and eventually were integrated into everyday style. The buttons are located in Clara’s Dressing Room on the second floor.


In the late 18th century, William Addis, an English entrepreneur, was thrown in prison after starting a riot. He soon became tired of cleaning his teeth with rags, soot, and salt. He collected bones from his meals, drilled holes, and laced pig bristles through the holes. When he was released from prison, he mass-produced his idea. This toothbrush on display was produced by the DuPont Corporation in 1935 and based off Addis’s original design, inventing and introducing the use of nylon as an alternative to silk. The toothbrush on display has unfortunately lost its bristles over the years, but you can still see where the nylon was inserted into the holes. The toothbrush is located in Clara’s Dressing Room on the second floor.


Hats have been a popular accessory since Ancient Egyptian times; their evolving styles reflecting the changes in popular materials and colors. This hat, found in Clara Parrish’s room is specifically known as a cloche. The cloche hat originated in 1908 and was popular during the 1920’s and 30’s. The name derives from the French word for bell, due to the hats bell like shape. The cloche hat is located in Clara’s Dressing Room on the second floor.


Samuel’s bedroom was rarely a place for sleep, but for working, reading, and keeping up to date on politics. Items scattered around his room suggest he spent more time awake than asleep. Take for instance the auto supplies, camera, and billfold out on his dresser, ready to pick up at a moment’s notice. Or even the numerous copies of the Southampton Press on his desk, no doubt being read over night after night to keep up with town news. He was not a passive reader though, and would write letters to editors to of local newspapers and even send letters to world leaders.


The bowler hat was designed in 1849 by Thomas and William Bowlers, hat makers from the iconic Lock and Co. hat store on St James’s street in London. The hat was designed to protect gamekeepers from low hanging branches, when they were out riding. The bowler hat was created for the younger brother of the 2nd Earl of Leicester, Edward Coke, who was said to have stomped on the crown twice to check its durability, before paying for it. The bowler hat soon became a fashion statement, gaining ground in the US in the 19th century among men. Some iconic bowler hat wearers include Sir Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, and Samuel Parrish. The Bowler Hat is located in Samuel Parrish’s Bedroom on the second floor.


A popular nightwear choice during Samuel Parrish’s time, nightgowns became a widely used garment during the late 1800’s and eventually lost popularity in the mid 1900’s. Mens ankle length dress shirts adopted the name nightgowns in 1880, when the first record of the term appears in shopping catalogues. The nightgown is located in Samuel Parrish’s bedroom on the second floor.



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