Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures


Perhaps the most unusual feature about this rocking bench, probably made in the Mid-Atlantic region around 1840, is the removable rail at the front of the seat. With the rail, the rocking bench doubled as a cradle. It allowed a mother to sit beside and safely rock her baby while her hands were free to continue working on a daily chore like sewing or preparing food. Without the rail, more than one adult could sit on the bench.


Originally painted, the bench was made in the Windsor style out of a variety of woods such as pine, poplar and hickory. Windsor chairs were popular utilitarian forms originally imported from England and then manufactured in America beginning around 1745. By the early 19th century, hundreds of Windsor chair manufacturers, particularly in New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions, had produced the countless numbers that survive today. Windsor chairs were used throughout the household in kitchens, dining rooms and parlors as well as outdoors.

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback

Let's Go Ride a Bike

Isn't It Romantic

A Rockin' Good Toy

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor

Birthday Threads


Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Sister Stitch

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

Something Borrowed

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

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