Roseland Cottage

The Lincolns knew Bowen’s reputation as a reformer because they read his newspaper The Independent. Mary Todd was the subscriber, but Abraham said he read it every week. Bowen was familiar with Lincoln because he had represented Bowen’s business in legal matters in the west, and because of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Bowen would later write that he believed Lincoln had “a brilliant political future of great value to the Republican Party.” This engraving, The Lincoln Family in 1861, belonged to the Bowens and now hangs in the conservatory at Roseland Cottage.

Template Dumbwaiter

A dumbwaiter was included in the china closet so that food could easily be sent from the kitchen upstairs to the night nursery where the three Eustis children took many of their meals.

Template Elevator

The builders’ plans for the mansion indicate that was originally an elevator installed in the house, which would have been a simple cab that was used primarily for wood. An electric sawmill in the basement was used to cut wood to the proper size. The current elevator cab was upgraded in the early twentieth century.

Template Safe

This safe is located in the China Closet and would have housed the family silver and other valuable pieces. When the outermost door is closed it appears to hide a regular closet, but when opened reveals two different doors sets that lie beneath. The first is a faux wood grained metal door that locks with a key, and the second is a set of double metal doors, also faux wood grained, that open with a knob.

Template Telephone Room

This telephone room was installed after the house’s initial construction when the Eustises replaced the Western Electric telephone that had been installed closer to the front door. As telephone conversations became more commonplace, the need for privacy prompted the addition of this tiny room.

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The Painting Process

First, it’s primed with a lead-based primer.

Next, it is painted with a metallic paint, in this case silver.

Then, it’s covered in a layer of shellac that is saturated with flakes of base metals. These metals that give it that Gilded Age look.

Finally, it’s installed, and painted again, in this case, to highlight the relief. It is the tarnishing of the metalic powers in the third layer that caused the Lincrusta to lose its gilded look.

Lead-based primer

Metallic paint

Shellac with metal flakes

Installed and painted again

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