one house, five families, 200 years of history

Modern Times at 16 Elm Street

Electricity reached this house in the 1920s, about the time the Scott family began renting here. The only electricity in the kitchen lit a hanging bulb. During the 1940s, Mary added a new oil stove for cooking in the summer, when the coal and wood stove made the room too hot. Roy Scott installed the first toilet in the 1940s.

Much of the postwar economic boom skipped over 16 Elm Street. The house never had central heating. An electric refrigerator didn't replace the icebox in the rear hallway until years after the war.