The Living Room

Living Room Map

The focus of the living room is the recruiting poster by Howard Chandler Christy. My grandfather tore this down at the end of World War I and gave it to me as a memorial.

Detailed information on individual items is available through Hyperlinks

We'll start at the North Wall (top of the diagram above) and work around the room counterclockwise (West, South, East...)

The North Wall

Living Room North Wall    Living Room Northwest Corner

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The North Wall is primarily the front door and two large windows. Note that the front door may be found in the Lewis catalogue.

Lewis Catalogue page with Front Door

The Front Door from the 1922 Lewis Catalogue

There are several items on the walls, including a vintage tobacco ad ("Splendide"), a lobby card for the "Scrappy" cartoon series, two maritime paintings by Robert Loder, and a program from the "Latin Quarter Revue". In the northwest corner is my Grandfather's concept of a club chair, created after he was called in to do some repairs at the Duquesne Club. He was so taken by the idea of big-shot businessmen sitting in club chairs reading the newspaper and smoking cigars that he created this chair from memory. My best guess is that he made this chair before World War One. It is still sturdy and comfortable. In accord with my grandfather's custom of smoking cigars in this chair, I have placed the entire collection of "Tobacciana" along with it, including the western-themed smoking stand, a variety of Zippo and Nimrod lighters, antique cigar and cigarette cases, tobacco jars, and meerschaum pipes.

To the right is a collection of canes and walking sticks, including a Seat Stick as illustrated below:

Walking stick with an unfolding seat

The Seat Stick
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The West Wall

Living Room West Wall

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The West wall is dominated by the stone fireplace, an option from the Lewis Company. Here is a photo of the "Standard" brick fireplace that normally came with the house.

Lewis Catalogue page with standard fireplace

The Standard Fireplace from the 1922 Lewis Catalogue

A Prohibition-era martini bar serves as a coffee table. On the Martini Bar are a number of nostalgic items such as: a Frankart ash tray with two stylized greyhounds; a menu, ash tray and matchbook from the original Copacabana night club; and a bakelite cigarette box.

There is a display of goods in front of the fireplace that might have been under the Christmas tree: A Woodburning set, a number of Erector Sets, a Chemistry Set, a Microscope Set, an Electric Eye Set, and Lincoln Logs. For the lady of the house is a high-end Electrolux Model XXX vacuum cleaner with all the attachments. To the left of the toys is a tubular chrome chair in the style of Gilbert Rohde. An Art Deco end table sits next to the tubular chair and holds: A WE-300 telephone, a Bates Address Book, and the "Fraidy Cat" Bookend

The glass cabinets also hold various items of interest: As discussed above, those on the right hold pipes and other tobacco paraphernalia. The cabinets on the left hold a variety of toys, cameras and memorabilia, including the mechanical animals, the Wolverine Submarines, the Brownie Hawkeye, the Beau Brownie, the Univex Mercury, and some Carnegie Tech Memorabilia.

A number of toys are on the mantle, particularly the Marx M-10000 streamliner and the Hercules Ferris Wheel that are survivors from my childhood. The Philco Model 36 “Cathedral” radio came out of a pool hall in Charlottesville. The microscope has an amber objective lens, indicating that it was used to evaluate Wasserman Tests.

Above the mantle are thrre framed posters from the 1977 Smithsonian airplane restoration project. Each poster contains a 2x2 scrap of original fabric fromairplanes being restored by the museum. Included on this wall is fabric from a WWI Fokker D-VII, the Douglas "Round the World" Cruiser, and Curtis Flying Boat.

The South Wall

Living Room South Wall

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The South Wall is has doors to both the Dining Room and the Kitchen. At one time, a pair of french doors separated the Living Room and the Dining Room (as they now separate the Florida Room from the Dining Room.) Since the rooms are fairly small, I suppose that the original owners removed the doors on the Living room side. Here is an excerpt from the Lewis catalogue that shows what these doors originally looked like:

Lewis Catalogue page with French Doors

The Missing French Doors from the 1922 Lewis Catalogue

The South Wall holds the Howard Chandler Christy Navy Recruiting Poster. My grandfather tore this down at the end of World War I and gave it to me as a memorial. The brass torchieres were purchased from a funeral home, and the Steinway Piano bench was found on bulk trash day and restored.

The New York Subway Display    The New York R1 Subway Car Display

The "A-Train" Exhibit

The Hiawatha Display

The Hiawatha Model Train

A display of New York City subway artifacts is in the southwest wall, including a model of an R-1 car that ran on the 8th Avenue Express known as the “A Train. An autographed photo of Duke Ellington, framed 78rpm recordings of Take the A Train and associated Sheet music are shown. All the tokens ever used on the NYC subways are also displayed.

A model of the famous Hiawatha streamlined train that ran between Chicago and Milwaukee in the 1930s is displayed above the Dining Room door.

The East Wall

Living Room South Wall

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The Stairs to the second floor are located on the East Wall. The Lewis Catalogue made quite a fuss over the detailed construction of the staircase. They were right -- 87 years later, not a squeak is to be heard from the stairs.

Lewis Catalogue page with details about the stairs

Details of the Staircase from the 1922 Lewis Catalogue

Near the staircase is a Farnsworth radio-phono that I restored, along with a photo of Philo Farnsworth, the man who invented electronic television. Atop the radio is a Brested "Zero" "drugstore fan", and a Steem-Electric iron, the very first steam iron.

Steemelectric Iron

The Steemelectric Iron
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There is also a reproduction of Ours Blanc, the famous Art Deco polar bear. The vintage skis were found in my attic – the left binding and boot were severely damaged, and I infer that Mr. Grinnell gave up skiing after an accident.Flanking the radio-phono are two chairs: an Eames "Potato Chip" and a kitchen stool with overtones of Frank Lloyd Wright. Rounding out the wall is the sheet music from Lucky Lindy and lobby cards from The Zoot Cat and Going My way. The mahogany hall mirror was rescued on bulk trash day.

This completes the Living Room. Where would you like to go next?

The First Floor

living you are here Go to the Hall
Go to the Dining Room Go to the Kitchen
Go to the Florida Room Go to the Breakfast Room

The Second Floor

Go to the Master Bedroom
Go to the Guest bedroom Go to the Hallway
Go to the Library The Bathroom is not on the tour...
Go to the Office

The Basement

Go to the Basement Storage Area
Go to the Dance Studio Area
Go to the Shop

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You are in the LIVING ROOM

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