Family & Social Life
Donations to the Museum have preserved irreplaceable evidence about generations of ordinary Americans. Objects from the Copp household of Stonington, Connecticut, include many items used by a single family from 1740 to 1850. Other donations have brought treasured family artifacts from jewelry to prom gowns. These gifts and many others are all part of the Museum's family and social life collections.
Children's books and Sunday school lessons, tea sets and family portraits also mark the connections between members of a family and between families and the larger society. Prints, advertisements, and artifacts offer nostalgic or idealized images of family life and society in times past. And the collections include a few modern conveniences that have had profound effects on American families and social life, such as televisions, video games, and personal computers.
"Family & Social Life - Overview" showing 1 items.
- With daily bathing becoming more accepted by the 1880s, many attempted to develop innovative ways to heat bath water and to incorporate the portable bathtub within a room setting. The Mosely Folding Bath Company advertised a folding bath in the 1895 Montgomery Ward Catalog. This tub, disguised as a mirrored wardrobe, folded down and out of its wood casing into the room, revealing the heater above.
- This was similar to Bruschke & Ricke’s combined sofa and bathtub of the same period. The sofa’s bolster concealed a water tank and heater, while the seat unfolded to reveal a bathtub. Often, large rubber aprons protected the wood or carpeted floor. Accounts of igniting sofas and burned bathers dampened the product’s appeal. Since neither bathtub attached to plumbing nor pipes, used bath water drained into a basin and then required emptying.
- For more information on bathing and bathtubs in the 19th and early 20th centuries, please see the introduction to this online exhibition.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Mosely Folding Bath Co.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center