Saturday, February 02, 2013


My daughter and I visited the Campbell House in historic Browne's Addition, just west of downtown Spokane. It seems that people usually focus on the opulence and wealth of the Campbell residence, but I felt myself drawn to the work space of the servants. The tour began in the basement where the Campbell servants once worked long hours to heat the home, wash the clothes, and even crimp the lace on Mrs. Campbell's dress. Apparently, lace crimping was an long, tedious process that only the wealthiest people could afford. 

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the tour was the display of Edison replica light bulbs. They produce only a fraction of the light as modern bulbs, so the basement was especially dark. It's hard to imagine that the servants worked in those conditions. 

The Campbell family could press a switch in any room of the house and trigger a switchboard in the servant's area. That way, the servants would know where they were needed. 

The divide between the upper class and the servant class seemed so strange and foreign to me, but then again, we're not really that different nowadays. Some might argue that we have simply exported our servant class to other countries where people produce high priced American goods for pennies on the dollar. Only now, we don't have to actually see our servants or feel guilty about the work that allows us to live in relative comfort. 

1 comment:

Cain and Todd Benson said...

I love your photography!


Related Posts with Thumbnails