First Solo Tour and Furniture Research!

On Tuesday I gave my first solo A World Made Small tour! The tour was centered around an exhibit showcasing the museum’s dollhouse collection, as well as other miniature play sets from colonial times through the 20th century. I think the tour went fairly well–the only issue was that I went a little too quickly. Next time, I plan on slowing down my information and adding a sentence or two about each of the pieces that I discuss. I also tag-teamed the Dog’s Life tour yesterday with my co-supervisor, Christina, and I think that one went well too! We had a lot of fun splitting up the different objects since she is also new to that tour and the information that it presents about dogs and other pets during colonial times. Did you know that Colonial Williamsburg had a law preventing homeowners from having more than two dogs, neither one of which could be female? Well, now you do.

This afternoon my schedule was pretty open, so I was able to walk over to Bruton heights and did some hands-on research in the file room regarding a potential new tour/family guide idea: Hidden Compartments in Colonial Furniture! I thought of the idea on Tuesday during one of our programs, and both Trish and Christina are supportive of my researching a variety of pieces in the collection that all had some sort of secret drawers/compartments. I want to present information about how the compartments worked, what types of furniture had these compartments, as well as what kinds of valuables were stored in them. So far, I’ve learned a decent amount, including that colonial Americans were obsessed with secret drawers and even had different keys/locks for every regular drawer, and I’m sure that the information will just keep coming. I am also now capable of turning on the moveable drawers in the file room. A true accomplishment in the eyes of many.

See you next week!

-Emma “aka strangulation turned furniture expert” Merrill


(PS This is link to some information about the piano in the form of a chest of drawers that I am researching. It’s pretty unique–check it out!)