Clouds Hill Victorian House Museum . . . A Portal to the Past


What's It?


What's it? - May 2018 

Gas Machine


Manufactured by Gilbert and Barker Mfg. Co., in Springfield, Mass., the Springfield Gas Machine, patented in 1869, converted liquid naptha into naptha gas for illumination purposes by putting the liquid under pressure until it changed into a gas.  It was then piped to the light fixtures in the house.



What's it? - February 2018 

When is a chair not a chair?  When it's a ladder . . .

This wooden chair, produced in Paris, Maine, in the early 1900s, converts to a step ladder.  There is a long hook on one side of the chair which is unhooked.  The back of the chair is then flipped forward over the seat and the hook re-secured, resulting in a step ladder.


What's it? - August 2017


Potato Masher


A very well used one . . .




What's it? - May 2017


A Napkin Press


Napkin presses were first used by the Romans.  Pressure on cloth flattens it and gives it a sheen.  Presses were used on both freshly washed linen and for recently used linen to "refresh" it before re-use.  Presses were made into the 19th century.