The Rhode Island room displays a collection of musical instruments in a parlor-like setting. In early America learning to play music was part a child’s education for children of affluent families. Girls were encouraged to play keyboard instruments such as the pianoforte or other instruments like the harp. Young gentlemen were encouraged to play the violin or flute. The piano, made in Connecticut between 1835 and 1860, has six octaves, not eight, as in modern pianos. The lap melodeon, located on the sofa, is played much like an accordion.
The Rhode Island Period Room Virtual Tour is a gift of Camille Wiener, Honorary State Regent of Rhode Island, in honor of Sarah R. Turnbaugh, State Museum Chair., C. Elizabeth Candas and Tanya L. Jones.