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Vintage Photos and Floor Plans

The innovation of photography amazed people at the end of the 19th century. They took photos of everything. The typical conceit of wealthy 19th-century families in the Gilded Age allowed them the luxury of sharing their homes with visitors through photographs.

Because the Cupples family took advantage of this luxury, today we have the opportunity to share how the Cupples family lived in 1890, shortly after they moved into their expansive new home. Note that the furnishings in many of the rooms seem inconsistent with the wealth of Samuel Cupples. Perhaps this inconsistency results from bringing old furnishings from their former home and then mixing them with items purchased for their new home. One can only suspect that the Cupples family must have like this eclectic combination because they commissioned the photographers Boehl & Koenig of St. Louis to photograph each of the 42 rooms of the house, including bathrooms!

Look to see the styles of fabric, carpet, and wallpaper patterns reflecting architect Thomas Annan's interest in the designs of William Morris and the furniture of the English Arts and Crafts Movement.