Skip Content
U.S. Flag

Senate Voices: Material Culture of the Senate

J. Franklin Little: Senate Page (1910-1912)

"Never more than two hours at a time, and always backwards."

Little recalls the Senate's habit of turning back the clock to delay the midnight deadline at the end of a legislative session.


"I was chief filler-upper of snuff boxes."

Little recalls his page duty of filling the snuff boxes in the Senate Chamber, and reflects on other objects in the Chamber.

Image of Donald J. Detwiler

Donald J. Detwiler: Senate Page (1917-1918)

"They were beautiful tubs."

Detwiler recalls pieces of the Senate's material culture, including mahogany lockers in the cloakroom and marble bathtubs in the basement of the Capitol.


"Each senator's desk had holes in the bottom."

Detwiler reflects on a "typical" day as a Senate Page, and how the Senate Chamber was ventilated at the time

Hiram Fong

Leonard H. Ballard: Inspector, United States Capitol Police

"That light fixture up there is a pineapple. "

Ballard recounts a unique memory of Hawaii senator Hiram Fong.