Our Time Capsule Stairwell

Unpacking is going well, but I thought I'd come up for air and share a bit more about this old house. One of its most unique features is the wheat pasted collage that adorns the walls of the basement stairwell. It's completely wallpapered in 1930's and 40's magazine ads, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, maps, high school graduation programs, menus, buy war bonds posters and even a filled out IRS form. As previously mentioned, some of the pin-up girls are a bit, ahem-- scandalous, so we might need to sticky tack up a few strategically placed clippings from the same time period, but I truly love that every time we go down to do laundry, we have the opportunity to step back in time. 

I can't help but wonder what was going through the mind of the occupants of the house during that time. There are concert programs dating to mere months before the US got involved in WWII. You sort of get a feel for the mood of the era by reading the comics or looking at the tongue in cheek New Yorker covers. If I didn't have a toddler and a house to unpack, I think I'd be spending more time down there... One of these days I'll pour myself a glass of two buck chuck and spend an evening immersing myself in the 30's and 40's.

It's tricky to get good lighting for pictures, but I hope the following shots give you a glimpse of this treasure trove of a stairwell.

Bob Spurgeon (see name above) was the owner of the house at this time.

They appear to have been a well travelled bunch.

 War bonds poster reads "Hercules son is flying and buying bonds too! How about you?"

Looking up to the ceiling

Caption on this one reads "It's Christmas and they began saying good bye in August."

Going back up the steps

One of the more modestly clothed ladies of the stairwell. Love her face....

That's cheap, but they probably made all their money off concessions. ;)

I'm pretty sure this is Eleanor Roosevelt... Not exactly sure of the significance of her painting a room blue, although it could be Democratic party related. October 1943 was well into FDR's second term, at this point things were looking promising for the allied forces. If you have ideas on the meaning of this depiction, let me know.

Also, I kind of like the look on Eleanor's face because that's how I'm feeling about painting rooms these days. I'm back and forth about wall colors all the time. If that wasn't difficult enough, there is a china cabinet and chairs that need painting as well! I have the most massive pile of paint swatches known to mankind. I told Nick I wished I owned one of those big swatch book/deck thingies so that I didn't have to continually raid the displays at the Home Depot and he pretty much summed things up for me by saying, with a trace of exasperation in his voice, "Steph, owning a swatch book still wouldn't help you make up your mind!"


  1. that is incredible! what an amazing treasure and piece of history in your home! wow.


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