FDR, the Famous TP Roll & More

The roll of toilet paper that was in service when FDR died in 1945 (right and inset).  A plastic cover was placed over it to stop visitors from taking a sheet as a souvenir.  The bathroom was mounted away from the wall so FDR could grasp the tub with both hands and swing himself into the tub.  The toilet was raised to be wheelchair accessible.  The lavatory (not shown) was also lowered.

The roll of toilet paper that was in service when FDR died in 1945 (right and inset). A plastic cover was placed over it to stop visitors from taking a sheet as a souvenir. The bathtub was mounted away from the wall so FDR could grasp it with both hands and swing himself into the tub. The toilet was raised to be wheelchair accessible. The lavatory (not shown) was also lowered.

I wasn’t going to do another Little White House post.  But two commenters mentioned the 69 year old toilet paper roll — and I must admit, it made an impression on me, too.  So here it is.  😀

Servants' quarters on left; guesthouse on right.

Servants’ quarters on left; guesthouse on right.

That also gives me an excuse to devote a post to the areas I didn’t cover yesterday — the servants’ quarters and the guesthouse, which were my favorites.  Probably because they remind me a bit of doll houses.

I’m also including a picture of the life size portrait Roosevelt was sitting for

Servants' bedroom #1

Servants’ bedroom #1

when he had a massive stroke and died later that day.  The portrait was never finished.  The artist, however, later copied the unfinished portrait, changed the tie from red to blue, and so finished the portrait she had promised him.

One final photo — of Graham Jackson, naval musician with tears streaming down his face as he played “Going Home” as Roosevelt’s body passed before the patients at Georgia Hall for a final goodbye on April 13, 1945.

Servants' bedroom #2

Servants’ bedroom #2

Servants' living room

Servants’ living room

Guesthouse sitting room

Guesthouse sitting room

Guesthouse bedroom (through glass)

Guesthouse bedroom (through glass)

Graham Jackson

Graham Jackson

The unfinished portrait

The unfinished portrait

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. EmilyO

     /  May 14, 2014

    You gave me a chuckle, when I saw the title in my blogs I follow listing – actually more than a chuckle. A big laugh. I remember the portrait and that part of my tour was stirring. I was just a wee bit over 3 years old when he died, so no connection there. I liked the simplicity.

    • I thought you would get a kick out of the title and picture! 😀

      I loved the simplicity, too, Emily.

  2. Marcia GB in MA

     /  May 14, 2014

    Seriously, they should just get rid of the antique toilet paper. It’s silly, and for some unknown reason, it annoys me 🙂 The picture of Graham Jackson is very moving.

    • What amazes me is what an indelible impression it makes on visitors. Including me. But it is silly!

      The picture of Graham Jackson almost made me cry. Deeply moving.

  3. Horst

     /  May 14, 2014

    Been out of touch for a week or so…. and just got finished reading you posts….wow, I guess when I go back East I just about got all the stops covered…thanks to you….,great posts, enjoyed your photo’s of the flowers and mushrooms, and super “History Lesson” …..Glad you Guys are enjoying and relaxing on this trip….Keep those posts coming…Horst sends

    • Good to hear from you, Horst. We are heading home tomorrow. Don’t really want to, but the grass is probably knee high by now.

      We’ll start planning our next trip as soon as we get home… hopefully to someplace cooler. Sultry, sticky weather is here. Fortunately we’re being cooled by rain this evening. 🙂

  4. Personally, I love the detail of the original toilet paper. The devil is in the details, right? We visited FDR’s childhood summer home on Campobello Island (just across the Canadian border from the far east point of Maine) last year. All the crazy little original details in the house and landscape make it all very real for me.

    • The funny thing is, I felt tacky posting the picture of the bathroom. But that TP was one thing that everyone who goes there remembers. 🙂

      I would love to see his childhood home. I didn’t know anything about him before he was president until I read a Wikipedia article a couple of days ago that mentioned his family and upbringing.

  5. Bonnie

     /  May 14, 2014

    Thank you Sharon for the lovely tour which I may never see. Very interesting and wonderful to see.

    • Oh, Bonnie! I am so glad you enjoyed it! I am usually the one who feels that way about places other people visit!

  6. Thank you for posting the rest of the pictures. Love the servants and guest cottages so cozy looking.

    • I thought they were just adorable little houses. Cozy and sweet. 🙂

  7. I have always thought the area of the Little White House is so lovely!! Beautiful trees and grounds. It also amazes me the difference in security for the president then vs now. When I took my classes there on field trips they were always amazed at the dog leash and the toilet paper.

    • I was amazed at the security, too. Little sentry posts and panic buttons. I loved the old telephone and the desk and desktop items in the Secret Service sentry post. I also loved the linen closet with the hats and the dog leash — and was amazed by the tobacco stained wall that showed under the tapa cloth wall hanging when it was moved. So many vivid impressions!

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