Everyday Life in the American Past

January 23, 1964 – Closed

National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

2nd Floor, East Wing

See on Map Floor Plan

Several re-created interior settings, arranged chronologically, document the daily life of Americans and various home-building methods from the late 1600s to approximately 1915.

Beginning with the framework of a Massachusetts house built in 2 sections (approximately 1690 and 1750), its morticed construction of heavy beams typifies a medieval tradition adapted in early English-American homes. This technology and form contrasts with examples of houses from other American colonies on view in this hall.

Intermingled in the displays are tools, household utensils, tableware, silver, pewter, pottery, games and toys, books, and folk art.

Highlights include:

  • Spanish adobe and German log construction
  • a classical colonial parlor in Virginia
  • a Victorian-Gothic bedroom in Connecticut
  • a Philadelphia banker's library
  • a California rancher's kitchen
  • a 1-room school in New England
  • a confectioner's shop in Washington, D.C.