WWI Saddle

This saddle was used by an American soldier while in France during World War I.  Trench warfare negated the advantage of mounted cavalry troops, but horses remained essential for moving supplies over destroyed roads and sometimes pulling ambulances.

 

Eleanor’s Hairbrush

Made of sterling silver, this hairbrush once belonged to Eleanor Randolph Wilson, third daughter of Woodrow and Ellen Wilson.  She married William McAdoo in the White House in 1914, and the brush bears her married initials “EWM.”

German Helmet

Leather helmet worn by a private in the German army at the beginning of World War I.  Called the Pickelhaube (point bonnet), it was made of leather with metal ornamentation.  It proved ill designed for trench warfare, offering little to no protection from enemy fire, artillery, or shrapnel.  It was discarded by 1916 in favor of a tougher steel helmet.

 

 

Radio

A 1923 Federal Type 61 radio receiver, this radio was one of the earliest models available to the home market. Powered by a battery station which hung on the wall, it did not produce enough power to have speakers and could only be listened to with headphones.  Wilson gave his first radio address in November, 1923, a few months before his death.

Prospect Gate by Ellen Axson Wilson, circa 1907

Painted by Woodrow Wilson’s first wife, this painting depicts fall trees at their home, Prospect House, where they lived while Woodrow was president of Princeton University.  Ellen was a gifted impressionist painter, and this work was a favorite of her husband. It hung in the White House for the eight years of Wilson’s presidency.

 
 
 

Woodrow Wilson Bust by Joseph Pavone, 1971

This bronze bust of Woodrow Wilson was created by the artist Joseph Edward Pavone in 1974 to decorate a new high school named in Wilson’s honor in Levittown, PA.  The school was renamed for Harry Truman in 1981.

Pierce-Arrow Limousine

Made by Pierce-Arrow in June, 1919, this car was part of the White House fleet and so beloved by Woodrow Wilson that friends of his bought it so that it could be his personal car after the presidency.  It was donated in 1925, the very first object to be a part of what would become the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum.