The Archer house is large but no larger than other homes I’ve seen in comparable Midwestern towns. Imaging these clients is the merest tip of a sociological iceberg, however, because it opens a door to the whole range of Edwardian domestic life. An entire family profile is needed–and so much more.
In the upper right (northeast corner) of this first floor plan, for example, is a room. Will I be able to delineate its occupant–a maid–without resorting to the defaults of ethnicity, intellect and aspiration? Was her work (yes, she had to have been a “she”) difficult? Did the Archers appreciate her efforts? Did she and her family write often? How did her friendships develop? And, on Saturday night, after six long days of laundry and linens, dusting and dishes, did she walk with her beau to a concert at The Commons and an ice cream later at Van Kannel’s? I’m curious.
More will follow in the next day or two.