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Senate Pages' Dinner: 1916

Senate Pages' Dinner: 1916

1916. "Senate pages. Marshall, center, giving dinner to pages." I know you'll all be on your very best behavior. Harris & Ewing Collection negative. View full size.


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Father and son

The seated younger man and the older boy to the viewer's left have a strong resemblance, as if they could be father and son.

I feel sorry for the pudgy boy on the right in his unbecoming bow tie. He's clearly on the social sidelines in this group.

Pages' Xmas Dinner

Gold Given to Senate Pages

Saulsbury as Santa and Oliver Sponsor for 16 Boys.

Sixteen bright youngsters who serve the solons of the Senate during the working hours of that distinguished body were made joyous yesterday by the presentation of sixteen shining gold pieces, distributed through the generosity of Senator Saulsbury, of Delaware, president pro tempore of the Senate, and Senator Oliver, of Pennsylvania.

Wednesday evening Vice President Marshall will have the sixteen boys as his personal guests at a formal Christmas dinner, to be served in the private dining room of the Senate restaurant in the Capitol Building.

Washington Post, Dec 24, 1916

Three Wreaths ...

Were wreaths always general, decorative fare or might this photo have been taken during the Holidays?

The Collars

My father owned a hand laundry on the upper west side of Manhattan from 1944 to the 1970s. The area that he serviced was an upper middle class neighborhood. Many of the apartment houses were "Class A" buildings, in that they had a doorman and an elevator man. In an average customer load there could be 20 detachable collars.If a man in a responsible job, thought that his collar was soiled or wilted, he would change the collar. If I remember correctly we charged 15 cents for the collars and 45 cents for the shirts. They were washed, starched and ironed. It was not unusual for someone to send in 20 collars and 6 shirts a week. Unlike today's offices, where jeans and T-shirts are acceptable, everybody had to, and/or wanted to, look their best. If our sad economy continues, we're going to see people dressing better, not worse.

President of the Senate

Of course, as Vice President one of Marshall's duties - besides asking "and how is the president feeling today" was to serve as President of the Senate (a position that Sarah Palin woefully misunderstood). This explains why Vice President Marshall is serving as host for the dinner for Senate pages.


That Marshall!

Horizontal Mohawk

The third kid from the right, standing, has what looks like a horizontal Mohawk. Also, somebody did not set enough places at the table, unless they are going to share the chairs.

More on Marshall

Thomas Riley Marshall, vice president under Woodrow Wilson for two consecutive terms, is probably best remembered (or only remembered) for his quip that "What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar."

Starched collars

If those collars had any more starch, you could use them as pry bars.

[Those look like detachable celluloid collars --- plastic. - Dave]

Beautiful room

I don't know if the dinner was served in a room of the Capitol, but it sure was beautifully decorated and festive--even if the faces are anything but festive! Who is this Marshall you mention? Also, as a child I remember my grandparents having that type of electric fan, usually sitting square on the living room floor on a hot afternoon--really an attractive nuisance for young fingers, pencils or toys. The blades seemed to be made of brass and they HURT!

[The boys' host is Vice President Thomas Marshall. - Dave]


You could lose a few fingers in that fan!


Those collars look awfully uncomfortable. They appear as though they would rub your neck raw!

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