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Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site

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This is a contributing entry for Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.

The master bedroom reflects the Bixby family’s lifestyle in the 1870s. The largest rooms in the house, it served as sleeping quarters as well as a nursery, sewing room, home office, and bathroom. The bedframe (which is a family piece) is made of metal and the mattress of horsehair and wool. As in the child’s bedroom, there is a chamber pot near the bed and a pitcher and wash bowl in the window – because there was no indoor plumbing. There are also oil lamps and candles, since there was no electricity either.

Nineteenth-century families benefited from many new inventions and manufacturing techniques following the Civil War, including sewing machines, which made life easier at home. The Howe sewing machine on display works by pedal (treadle), dramatically increasing the output of the seamstress. “Ready-made” clothing was increasingly available for men during this period, but not for women. Mass-produced newspapers like Harper’s Bazaar brought news and views from the East Coast to Los Angeles in just 10 days. Plus, Harpers was where the Bixby women got ideas for the latest fashions from the images it included.

Master Bedroom

Building, Property, Picture frame, Interior design


Tableware, Table, Dishware, Food

Howe Sewing Machine

Table, Furniture, Property, Cabinetry