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I know what you’re thinking: ‘The linen closet?? How exciting can that be?’ I know, because that was my first thought, too. As usual though, the more you start exploring, the more interesting things become.
To start, let’s take a look at the the linen closet itself. It’s probably a step up from your linen closet or mine, with its glass doors, shelves and lots of drawer space:
Here is a single stack of linens, one stack among many:
This was a surprise, and was pretty cute – we won’t ever know who embroidered this ‘Dust Cloths’ bag, but I like to imagine the daughter of one of the maids working on this for her mom as a special gift:
Here’s a napkin, with a singular letter C for Congdon:
It’s interesting to see the variety of various napkins that we found:
Here are a few more. The angelfish are kind of neat, but also note the ‘CBC’ for Clara Bannister Congdon:
I think these next napkins were my favorite. They were part of a series of similar-but-not-identical napkins that look like they’ve come from the Far East. When you look closely at the mouth of the king (?) running with his cane, the stitches that make up his mouth are different. And what sort of odd flashlight is he holding, and what is in its beam?
“Covers embroidered by friends. Valuable for association.”
This calendar, from 1937, appears to be a record of to-do items. On Thursday, October 21, it says: “Shelves Index: Give away many things. Use shelves and drawers more conveniently.”
This is a ledger from about twenty years earlier, that includes copious and surprisingly detailed notes about the various pieces of linens. The receipt is from the George A. Gray Company, a department store which was located where the Holiday Inn is located today.
Tucked back in a corner we found a feather duster and a little dust broom:
Inside one of the cabinets we found a couple of different types of insect repellent. Neither are available for sale as insect repellent today, partly because they have both been shown to cause ‘adverse reactions in animals or humans.’
Neti pots became popular in the United States after Dr. Oz trumpeted their effectiveness on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007. They were nothing new then, nor even back in the 1920s or 1930s, when this Bermingham Nasal Douche was sold.
As it turns out, the history of ‘nasal irrigation’ goes back thousands of years. This was probably one of the more unique and interesting pieces we found in the Linen Closet.
I suppose we could have delved more deeply into the history of linens at Glensheen, but I’m guessing that most people will find the Linen Closet of passing interest, and not a lot more. Which is fine. The next room had a very memorable sewing machine. Even today, I smile when I think about it.