House and Home: The Intersection of Domestic Architecture and Social History, 1870-1970

Home. There are few words in the English language that evoke so much sentiment. Home is the place of family, of warmth, of security. It is where we came from, and where we retreat to. It is our personal sanctuary, where the intimate details of our lives are lived outside of public scrutiny. It is also where we invite our friends in to be entertained. It is the most expensive single purchase of our lives, and as such, it is a symbol of our success. We decorate it in ways that we hope show off our character and express who we are.





There is something unique about the way the American middle class has come to think about where they live, a result of decades of promotion of the concept of home by architects, builders, designers, salesmen, and social commentators. While today we may be glued to our televisions watching HGTV, in the 19th century we paged through pattern books of architectural plans for our dream house and read domestic manuals detailing the best ways to manage it. In later years, we pored over images of houses sold in catalogs as kits, magazines showing trends in interior design, and advertisements enticing us with the latest in home innovation.

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The virtual exhibition is a near-exact digital version of the physical exhibition at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections where this exhibition was open from October 19, 2016 through May 5, 2017. In addition to the images, video, and exhibit labels, we have included links to featured manuscript and digital collections and rare books in order to invite researchers to explore these resources when visiting the center. The virtual exhibition also includes a related exhibition titled "Comfort and Convenience: Toledo Corporations and Post-War Housing Innovation" curated by Sara Mouch and Lauren White in the Art Gallery located on the fifth floor of Carlson Library.


The site opens with the case views by default. The order of case views follows the order of exhibit cases at the physical exhibition at the Canaday Center. Click or tap on the cases for exhibits and label descriptions. Click or tap the exhibits for a closeup view and detailed description. Use the left or right arrows to view the images in the order they were displayed in the cases. Use the ABOUT button for general description of exhibits in the case. Use the links to access information on the featured and related resources at the Ward M. Canaday Center. Use the BACK button for case views where you can move to different cases. The viewing results may vary by device you use. This site uses a responsive HTML5-based template designed equally accessible to users of most mobile devices, laptops, and desktops.

Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collection, 2017

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