THE RED HOUSE FURNITURE : WHY DO DOGS LICK FURNITURE.
The Red House Furniture
Crosley 302 Red Wall Phone (CR55-RE)
The Crosley 302 Phone returns to the wall in this Henry Dreyfuss tribute. Dreyfuss, considered a brilliant industrial designer, worked with Bell Telephone Laboratories designing telephones that were sensitive to consumers' desire to suit a variety of home environments. Well known for the 302 style Desk Phone, he later shifted his design efforts to include this wall unit allowing consumers to walk with the phone while cradling it on their shoulder. This unified and balanced form replaced the awkward and ungainly shapes of earlier models. Would you believe Dreyfuss actually used measurements from over 2000 faces to determine the distance between the average mouth and ear? The Crosley 302 Wall Phone features the nostalgic rotary dial but actually functions with push button technology. No more waiting for that rotary dial to make its excruciating slow rotation.
Silas Deane House
Has been designated a
Under the provisions of the
Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935.
This site possesses exceptional value
in the commemorating or illustrating
the History of the United States.
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
In 1762, Silas Deane came to Wethersfield to teach and study law. He met Mehitable Webb, Joseph's widow, and became her legal and business advisor. They married in 1763, and had one son, Jesse, in 1764. Having iarrivedi socially, Silas' constructed his own mansion, conveniently next door to his Webb stepfamily. The new house was very different from the rest of Wethersfield architecture, more closely resembling dwellings from the Dutch West Indies or New York, with an asymmetrical facade probably featuring a piazza, or porch. The door opened onto a spacious hallway with a grand staircase, and the best parlor contained a carved Portland brownstone fireplace. Although the piazza is gone, the staircase and fireplace remain to this day.
The Deane House was completed about 1766. Mehitable had little time to enjoy it, however, for she died in 1767. In 1769 Silas married another rich widow, Elizabeth Saltonstall Evards from New London. In 1774 Silas Deane served in the first Continental Congress, and while he was there John Adams visited Wethersfield and took tea with Mrs. Deane. In 1775 George Washington dined with Elizabeth en route to take command of the troops outside of Boston. Silas went to France in 1776 on a secret mission to secure troops, arms, and supplies for the revolutionary cause.
While he was in Paris Elizabeth Deane died, and that misfortune was compounded by accusations of mismanagement of government funds. Silas was abruptly recalled by Congress but never given a hearing to exonerate himself. Having spent his fortune in an attempt to clear his name, he sent instructions to his brother Barnabas in Wethersfield to sell all his furniture. Disillusioned and impoverished, he stayed in Europe in self-imposed exile, but in 1789 decided to return to Canada to rebuild his fortune. On board ship on the night before his departure, he died mysteriously, and is buried in England.
Stephen Chester bought the Deane House from Silas' creditors sometime after 1790. From 1800-1873 it passed through many hands until it was bought by Frances Talcott Fenn in 1874. Her son, U.S. Representative E. Hart Fenn inherited the house in 1899. Mr. Fenn and his second wife Margaret were active in the early preservation movement, and made few structural changes to the building, even going so far as to install the only bathtub in the basement! However, the house was severely damaged by fire in 1932, and the extent of the loss is unknown.
Mrs. Fenn was a Connecticut Colonial Dame, and after she inherited the Deane House in 1939 she secretly made plans to turn it over to the Society after her own death. Her gift was a very welcome surprise in 1959, completing the Museum complex of the three adjacent houses. From 1960-1974 the Colonial Dames worked assiduously on the house's restoration, and in 1964 the house was declared a National Historic Landmark. When it opened to the public in 1974, it was recognized as one of the most careful and accurate restorations undertaken in the United States.
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld: furniture maker, designer and architect. He was born on 24 June 1888 and died on 26 June 1964. Despite his several dozens pieces of furniture, buildings and other designs, Rietveld is usually associated with one chair from 1918 and one house from 1924; his famous Red-Blue chair and the Rietveld-Schroder house. But Rietveld left behind an oeuvre which is even more comprehensive: no fewer than 215 furniture designs such as chairs, cabinets and tables, 232 designs for buildings and 240 other designs. Sometimes it concerns tangible furniture, single copies or prototypes, while only sketches or drafts are available for other models.
The Red Blue Chair was a chair designed in 1918 by Gerrit Rietveld. It represents one of the first explorations by the De Stijl art movement in three dimensions. The original chair was in natural wood colour and was later painted in the De Stijl palette of primary colours - red, blue and yellow plus black.
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