Tagged with 'gadget'

Revolving Serving Door

The existence of a revolving serving door[1] between the Dining Room and the north passage is confirmed in Cornelia Jefferson Randolph's floor plan of Monticello, where it is called a "turning buffet." Robert Mills' floor plan, conjecturally dated 1803, includes the serving door. Visitors to the President's House in Washington also reported Jefferson's use of such a device there.

"I Rise with the Sun"

A typical day for Jefferson started early, because, in his own words, "Whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun." He told of a fifty-year period in which the sun had never caught him in bed; he rose as soon as he could read the hands of the clock kept directly opposite his bed.

Perspective Glass

Artist/Maker: Unknown[1] Created: late 18th century Origin/Purchase: United States and England Materials: mahogany, glass

Jefferson-era orrery, reconstructed

James Ferguson, 1710-1776, was a sort of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” of the middle to late 1700s. A fellow of the Royal Society, he had done important work in observing and understanding the moon’s orbit, but his true calling turned out to be explaining science to the general public. Some of his works still make good reading today. He strove for simple, elegant solutions and didn’t waste words. Perhaps he put it best in “Select Mechanical Exercises”:  “The simpler that any machine is, the better it will be allowed to be, by every man of science.”


View Room Panorama Dimensions: 18' 6" x 11' 10"; ceiling 10' 0"   Order: Tuscan Source: Palladio   Color: There is some evidence that the room was originally wallpapered; today painted oyster white.

Griffin Discovery Room

A hands-on activity center for children Monticello visitors—especially those ages 6 to 12—can literally get in touch with American history in the Griffin Discovery Room through hands-on activities.

Design and Decor - Convenience

"A Greater Eye To Convenience " Jefferson filled Monticello with gadgets designed with "a greater eye to convenience," and the dining room contains many examples.