American Girl Wiki
Advertisement
SamanthaScenesAndSettingsBooklet1

Cover of booklet included in Samantha's Scenes and Settings.

Samantha's Scenes and Settings was introduced to Samantha's Collection in 1996 and retired in 2000. Retail cost was $55 and decreased to $48.

Scenes and Settings[]

Foam board background display book. 23.5" x 29.5" long, opens to 58" flat. Weighs seven pounds. Snaps with clear strap at side to close and on top to close and carry.

Front Cover[]

The front of Samantha's Mount Bedford home.

The accompanying booklet describes facts about Samantha's home and lawn. Wealthy people considered their homes a showpiece, and homes with many ornamental details were popular at the time. The booklet notes that homes at the time did not have a garage (as cars were not widespread), but they did have carriage houses which stored carriages. Carriage houses would have been hidden away at the back and accessed through a road at the back of the house, along with any other work buildings. Samantha's home has butternut and black walnut trees around it, which Samantha could play among or Mrs. Hawkins could use to get nuts for candy or ice cream. The lawn was kept well and a sign of the family's wealth, as servants would have to work hard to maintain it. The bay window in the front of the house is intended to let more light into the parlor (Grandmary's abode).

Additional details in the booklet explain the architectural details of the house. The shutters on Samantha's house are mostly for show. The roof style with deeply sloped sides is called a mansard roof, and her house has dormer windows on the third floor. The house has wooden siding and has roof shingles in an overlapping pattern. The wide covered front porch was often seen like an outdoor parlor and was often decorated with furniture and plants. Along the porch roof are small blocks of wood called brackets. The top of Samantha's house has a turret topped with a decorative widow's walk.

Scene One[]

Interior of kitchen, which is listed as Mrs. Hawkins' Kitchen.

The accompanying booklet explains that Samantha could visit Mrs. Hawkins' kitchen to cheer herself up. The kitchen was always busy- Mrs. Hawkins might be ordering food from the butcher or baker over the phone, collecting milk, cream, and butter from the milkman at the back door, or receiving the iceman, who was delivering ice for the icebox. A scullery maid would be busy washing dishes at the sink while more food cooked on the gas range stove. The kitchen would be even busier if Grandmary had guests for dinner. In Samantha's time, a dinner could have as many as 18 courses. Even though Grandmary could afford for Mrs. Hawkins to have the latest devices, like lemon juicers and mayonnaise mixers, a formal dinner would take a lot of time. A lemon mixer can be seen next to the pitcher of lemonade on the shelf in the kitchen.

On the far left of the scene is a hot water heater, which was only something available to the wealthy. It provided hot water to the kitchen and to the radiators throughout the house. On the floor between the heater and the stove is a small round mousetrap; the booklet explains that Mrs. Hawkins would have used pumpkin seeds to get the mice into the trap, and peddlers would sell many types of mousetraps. A blue gas range stove is next to it, though some cooks disliked this modern invention because they could not burn their garbage in it. A warming oven is to the top right on the gas stove, and it was designed to keep food warm during a long dinner.

The booklet notes that some dining room radiators even had a warming oven on them for this reason. A match safe to on the wall to the right of the stove. It is black and decorated with flowers. Matches had to be kept here because they didn't have special coatings on them to prevent them from igniting. The ceramic sink has taps for hot and cold running water. However, Mrs. Hawkins would not have considered the hot water clean enough for drinking and would have boiled water on the stove for tea. A ceramic sink was also hard and could break dishes if one was not careful, so a scullery maid would have to be cautious or she could lose money from her wages. The telephone is on the wall next to the sink, and Mrs. Hawkins would have had to ask the operator to connect her to the person she was talking to. A storage area leads to the back door. A metal milk can is on the shelf there, which would have been delivered by the milkman. Mrs. Hawkins would have put grated horseradish in the bottom of the can to keep the milk sweet. To the far right is an icebox, where a block of ice would have been delivered daily. Above the icebox is a wall clock, which might have been the only accurate clock in the house. Grandmary would have kept the clocks in public rooms incorrect so guests wouldn't feel embarrassed if they arrived late.

Scene Two[]

Interior of Samantha's bedroom.

At night, servants would have made sure that Samantha's bedspread was turned down for her and that her nightgown was pressed and laid out on her bed. They also would have made sure that the china pitcher on her commode had warm water. A child like Samantha would often have to go to bed while Grandmary hosted other adults.

To the far left of the scene is a screen that would be pulled around Samantha's bed to keep out drafts if it was cold. If it was hot, a large, wet sponge could be hung behind the screen so the breeze blowing through the screen would cool the air. To the right of the screen was a radiator, which warmed the house through hot water. Samantha could warm her clothes over this on a chilly morning. Samantha's pram is to the right of that, along with her porcelain doll, which would have been designed to help girls practice the skills they needed to be a mother. To the right of the window is a plant.

The booklet explains that many people kept plants during this time to show their appreciation of nature, and wealthy people often had conservatories to show off exotic plants. Servants would have swept Samantha's rug daily, though they would have scattered wet tea leaves onto the rug before they did so the rug would smell nice. To the right of the door is a rattan chair; wicker and rattan furniture were popular on porches and in children's rooms during the era. Above Samantha's washstand, or commode, is a mirror that shows a reflection of a wooden armoire. The booklet explains that many houses did not have closets at that time because houses could be taxed by how many rooms they had, and a closet would count as a room. Next to the washstand is a gas light, which would have been attached to a gas line in the wall. Samantha could have used this light to read at night.

Scene Three[]

Interior of classroom in Miss Crampton's Academy for Girls.

Samantha's classroom was full of familiar details seen in wealthy homes at the time, such as decorative woodwork and curtains on brass poles. The classroom was full of paintings and other artwork that showed an appreciation for art. The classroom has bookshelves with classics, storybooks, and books on lessons in morals and deportment.

On the left side of the scene is a doorway with a curtain hanging from it. Inside is a storage area, where Samantha's brass lunch box is visible. On the wall inside the classroom are framed insect collections, which would have been used for natural history lessons. At the time, studying nature was seen as a girls' subject and not a focus for boys. Underneath is an easel with watercolors and sketches. This was considered a skill for women, though drawing was a technical skill only taught to men studying architecture or engineering. To the right of the easel is a chalkboard, where a color chart is on the ledge. A color chart was used to mix colors for art; understanding art was considered important for a lady to decorate her future home. A wooden stool and a globe are underneath the chalkboard. To the right of the board is a window, followed by a table and some bookshelves. The bookshelves have a microscope for science experiments. Because biology in particular had to do with health and hygiene, it was considered a girls' subject. The shelf also contains a miniature marble statue of Queen Zenobia, which was a copy of a larger statue by Harriet Hosmer, Zenobia in Chains (1859).

Students would have studied classical art and read Greek and Roman classics. In this time, art museums started to sell cheap versions of paintings, such as the one on the shelf, Rosa Bonheur's The Horse Fair, smaller than the original version. The shelf also contains a bust of Frederic Chopin, who was particularly known for his work on the piano. Girls would have been encouraged to study the piano. There is also an ostrich egg on this shelf; people at the time found them fascinating and wore their feathers in hats. Sometimes ostrich eggs were served at expensive lunches and dinners. On a lower bookshelf is a glass float, which is something Japanese fishermen would have used to mark fishing nets. Miss Crampton could have used this to teach about Japanese culture. (A recent war between Russia and Japan created an interest in Japanese culture; this would be the Russo-Japanese War.)

Scene Four[]

Interior of Tyson's Ice Cream Parlor.

Marble countertop and backdrop with items for ice cream. Marble would have been used instead of wood because wood could rot and attract vermin. The shelves have containers with a variety of soda flavorings for the soda fountain. Most soda fountains at the time might offer four or five flavors, but very large parlors could have as many as thirty-five flavors. The most common flavors would have been ginger, pineapple, almond, strawberry, and orange. There are two containers for ginger ale and root beer. Root beer was originally sold as a powder of roots and berries and sold as a medicine. A light fixture hangs from the ceiling above the parlor.

The booklet explains that many businesses kept their old gas lights but updated them with electric wiring. A cash register is in the background, and the booklet explains that fancy ones had the owner's initials carved into the design. A white and gold container for soda water is to the right of the cash register. To the right of the soda container are various cups and metal holders as well as an advertisement for Moxie, a soft drink sold at the time. Each drink and ice cream dish had a metal holder so customers wouldn't have to get their hands cold. A wall mirror would have let customers at the counter see who was behind them without having to turn around; the ice cream parlor was a fashionable place to be seen at the time. The end of the counter has an orange drink with foam on top; the booklet explains that various flavorings would be combined to make drinks with names like "Persian Sherbet," "Queen's Favorite," or "Don't Care," which used all the flavorings at once. To the right of the fountain are two sets of Italian-style wrought-iron tables with tablecloths and wrought-iron chairs. These were popular for ice cream parlors in part because they were very durable.

Scene Five[]

Exterior of cabin at Piney Point. A lake surrounds the cabin, with trees scattered around and mountains in the background. A steamboat is on the left side of the scene; it would have taken residents to their camps. The booklet explains that many camp owners worked with conservation organizations to protect the wilderness during this time because there were not laws against lumbering. The large open veranda, or porch, on eh cabin could be used to enjoy the outdoors and could be used for sleeping on hot nights. The cabin shows Grandmary on the porch.

The booklet explains that Grandmary would have stayed behind at the cabin as the host to make sure everything ran smoothly at the house and her guests were comfortable. At some camps, the main cabin was called the hunting lodge and was decorated in a hunting style, even if the owners themselves weren't hunters. The homes had logs so they would look rustic, but the homes themselves would still have nice china and silver. Smaller cabins were available for guests, children, and servants. Covered walkways ran in between cabins so people could visit each other without going outside. A boathouse is by the water. The booklet explains that many boathouses had rooms such as dance halls, dining rooms, and music rooms because they were used for sending off guests. In the foreground to the right is an embankment with a green boat. The booklet explains that boating was considered appropriate for young ladies, though they should wear gloves to keep their hands soft. To the right of the boat is Samantha's pack basket with some of her other supplies for hiking.

Back Cover[]

Samantha's World Map.

Booklet[]

Informative booklet about locations. Sixteen pages. The first two pages give an overview of each location and invite the reader to imagine themselves as Samantha entering each location; for instance, to imagine the smells of mince pie and peppermint drops in the kitchen. Each description encourages the reader to find out more in the Central Series book that accompanies each scene. After the opening two pages, there are two pages dedicated to each section of the scenes, including the cover with Samantha's home. Each has a description of the area and an image of the location with numbers on it. The numbers coordinate with a list of facts about this location, e.g the "Samantha's Home" section describes the traits of her home and garden, such as the fact that a nice lawn was a sign of wealth and descriptions of features of Victorian/Edwardian houses.

A miniature version of Samantha's world map is on the back of the booklet, the same as the full scenes and settings.

Advertisement