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The Material Culture of the Senate

J. Franklin Little: Senate Page (1910-1912)

"Never Mover than two hours at a time, and always backwards."

Little, interviewed by Senate Historian Donald Ritchie, recalls the Senate's habit of turning back the clock to delay the midnight deadline at the end of a legislative session.


"I was chief filler-upper of snuff boxes."

Little recalls his page duty of filling the snuff boxes in the Senate Chamber, and reflects on other objects in the Chamber.

Image of Donald J. Detwiler

Donald J. Detwiler: Senate Page (1917-1918)

"They were beautiful tubs."

Interviewed by Senate Historian Richard Baker, Detwiler recalls pieces of the Senate's material culture, including mahogany lockers in the cloakroom and marble bathtubs in the basement of the Capitol.


"Each senator's desk had holes in the bottom."

Detwiler reflects on a "typical" day as a Senate Page, and how the Senate Chamber was ventilated at the time

Hiram Fong

Leonard H. Ballard: Inspector, United States Capitol Police

"...that light fixture up there is a pineapple. "

In his interview with Senate Historian Richard Baker, Ballard recounts a unique memory of Hawaii Senator Hiram Fong.


Senate Historical Office

Historical information provided by the Senate Historical Office.

Historical Photographs

A list of senators for whom we have no photo or other image in our collection. If you have an image, or information that may lead us to an image, please contact us (photo_historian@sec.senate.gov).

Senate Historical Office

Information provided by the Senate Historical Office.

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Historical Statistics

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