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Dodge House display focuses on entertainment

Without electronics what would you do in your spare time?

If you lived at the Historic General Dodge House when the Dodge family lived in the home, there were no televisions, electronic games or computers.

The Dodge House has a new display to depict how people in the Dodges’ era would entertain themselves.

General and Mrs. Grenville M. Dodge lived in the house from 1869 until 1916. The daughters continued to occupy the home for several more years.

The new display showcases the many ways to pass the hours and keep busy during your leisure time. It includes a melodeon (piano), which the family would play and sing along with the music in the evenings. They might also listen to the Victrola, a phonograph for playing recorded music.

A manikin in period clothing depicts a woman demonstrating how ladies would keep busy with needlework such as embroidery, crocheting or knitting. Two other manikins show children’s period clothing.

Adults and children alike would enjoy reading, a common pastime. Others might play games including checkers or chess. A variety of fun board games were very popular. A display case shows many children’s toys from the late 1800’s.

A stereopticon is another feature of the display. It was used to view photographs. Many photographers took special “stereo views” that made their photos look three-dimensional. First they took the pictures with a camera that had two lenses (like binoculars).

The pictures were printed side-by-side on a stereo card. A stereopticon, a special viewer, would blend the two photos into a single three-dimensional image.

The Dodge House is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Remember the Beresheim House, Dodge House and the new entertainment display are all part of the tour.

If you’d like more information about this event, please call at 712-322-2406

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