Emerson “Patriot” Radio

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

This radio belonged to the Carl Smith family of Fayetteville.

In 1940, with U. S. involvement in World War II on everyone’s mind, Emerson Radio and Phonograph Company and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes came out with the “Patriot” radio in red, white, and blue colors. The cabinet is made of catalin, a type of plastic similar to bakelite. Patriots retailed for $24.95.

Fork and Spoon Set

Donated by Paula Thompson

This fancy silverware no doubt saw its share of holiday meals. The serving fork is silverplate and was from the 1847 Rogers Brothers line manufactured by Meriden Britannia Company ( Meriden, CT). The pattern name is “Assyrian Head,” designed and patented by Henry V. Hirschfeld in 1886. The serving spoon, part of a set, is sterling silver made by Gorham Manufacturing Company (Providence, RI) in the “Fontainebleau” pattern, designed by Gorham’s leading designer, Antoine Heller. It was also introduced in 1886.

The flatware pieces come from the Robert M. Thompson household of Rogers (Benton County). Priscilla Cabinette Thomas of Virginia was a violin and piano teacher and church organist In the late 1800s when she met Robert Marion Thompson, a minister from Kentucky. The couple was married around 1896 and had two sons. The Thompson family moved to Rogers, Arkansas, about 1900 where Robert preached at the First Christian Church and other nearby churches.


Donated by Pauline Lancaster

This yellow earthenware flask with a Rockingham glaze was made by Lyman Fenton & Co., Bennington, Vermont, sometime between 1849-1858. The spine of the “book” boasts the tongue-in-cheek title, Departed Spirits. The letter G is stamped under the title.

According to the donor, it was left behind by a hobo as payment for a night’s stay in a barn.

Class of 1922 Ring

Donated by Ada Lee Shook

This ring belonged to Frances Slaughter. She was born in Goshen (Washington County) in 1905 to John Lionel (“Lona”) and Ada Bevers Slaughter. The family moved to Springdale in 1914 and from there to Fayetteville in 1921, where Frances graduated from high school in 1922.

Frances kept a diary during her senior year. On Friday, May 19, 1922, she wrote of graduation day:

Frances Slaughter, circa 1922. Carl Smith, photographer/Ada Lee Shook Collection (S-98-85-965)

I got up at 8 A.M. and went to the Ozark [Theater] to practice. I got real mad at Mary Dale Sellers. I pressed my dress, made sandwiches and everything. I went to the Commencement exercises and after that to Thelma’s bunkin [bunking] party. We started to go on a night gown parade but saw a drunk man. We went to sleep about 3 A.M.

In the fall of 1922 Frances Slaughter entered the University of Arkansas. There she met William Carl Smith, whom she married in 1926. The Smiths had one daughter, Ada Lee, born in 1928.

Linen Suit

Donated by Victoria McKinney

Evan Lewis Martin was the son of Henry and Bette Hannah Martin of Pea Ridge (Benton County). He died at the age of 12 in 1910. In his death notice, the Rogers Democrat reported that Evan “loved music and was a fine singer for a child.”

This linen outfit with its ruffled collar is a variation of the Little Lord Fauntleroy suit, a popular style of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In the book Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1886), the  main character wore a black velvet knee pants and jacket over a lace-collared blouse. The style was popular until about 1920.

Orval Faubus’s Hat

Gov. Orval Faubus (in dark suit) at the Springdale Savings and Loan Association dedication, June 11, 1960. Howard Clark, photographer/Caroline Price Clark Collection (S-2001-82-375)

Donated by James McNally

This circa 1960 was made for Gov. Orval Faubus by Harry Rolnick, co-owner and designer of Resistol Hats. Rolnick and E.R. Byer founded Byer-Rolnick Company in Dallas in 1927. Byer-Rolnick specialized in Western and dress hats branded Resistol for “resist all weather.” Resistol hats quickly became famous for their trademarked “Self-Conforming Band” and “Kitten Finish” (a method of processing felt which produced a softer texture than conventionally-made felt).