Plates were regularly used in all households in the nineteenth century for serving food. This particular plate is made of porcelain from China and was a popular style during Jonas More’s lifetime. It would have been available to middle-class and wealthy people.
Down spouts are used for collecting water from the roof and draining it down and away from the house. The average farm family’s house would not have had well decorated down spouts such as this one, if it had them at all.
Unlike the doors on the Lippitt Farmhouse that are plainly painted, the door on the More House is brightly painted. The half circle painted above the door, meant to look like a fancy fanlight window, would have been a very expensive addition to a home in the early nineteenth century.
Frames on windows hid the cracks where windows were attached to a house and prevented drafts from coming through those openings. The window frames in the More House are decorated with large, fancy lintels to impress guests who might be invited to the house.
Wallpaper from the early nineteenth century is rarely found in complete sections today. These two samples are small but offer historians an idea of how early Americans decorated their homes. While we often think of early objects having dull, drab colors, the section of paper on the right shows how brightly colored some wallpapers were. Sunlight, smoke, soot, and chemical processes make early printed and painted items look darker today. Looking at areas of paper that have been protected by other layers of wallpaper or woodwork is a way of seeing how vibrant and festive early papers often were.
Wallpaper Fragments, 1805-1820, paper, L: 26.5 x W: 19.75. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Ada Yates Harris, N0051.1956(01-08).