The playroom contains toys from the turn of the century. Pictured are antique and modern fire engines and a copy of a Greiner Doll. The room also includes a match stick village, paperdoll forms, stuffed animals, doll furniture and a collapsible handmade rocker. The adjoining nursery is filled with 19th century children’s clothing and is furnished with clothes tree, a crib and a bassinet.
One of the favorite exhibits for visitors to the Richard Wall House Museum is the intricate and fascinating Langsdorf dollhouse. Standing 4 feet tall and almost 3 feet wide, the house features three stories and an attic in extraordinary detail.
The dollhouse was built by a carpenter between 1915 and 1920 for Blanche Langsdorf, the daughter of cigar magnate Jacob Loeb Langsdorf. Louise and Jacob Langsdorf and their children, Benjamin Feller and Blanche, resided at 7827
Old York Road in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.
After Blanche outgrew the dollhouse, it was relegated to their barn where it remained until the present owner, Cynthia Langsdorf Wilkinson (Blanche’s niece), inherited it at age 5 in 1940. At that time, it was moved to her parents’ house on Old Huntingdon Pike in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. That’s where her father Benjamin, a research electrical engineer, incorporated working electricity in it. In 1995 the dollhouse came back to Elkins Park when Cynthia transported it to her current home, where she repaired and refurbished it. In November 1997, Cynthia graciously donated the dollhouse to the Richard Wall House Museum, its final home.
The nine main rooms of the dollhouse consist of a Victorian parlor, kitchen, dining room, foyer or club room, music room, nursery, two bedrooms and bathroom. An attic, veranda and balcony complete the structure. The house is completely furnished and electrified and displays wall sconces, fish bowls, a cradle in the sitting room, Priscilla curtains, petit point screens, rugs, a water closet, baby grand pianos, a harp, bell pulls and quilts. Throughout the house the floors are covered with simulated oriental rugs with authentic patterns. The rugs were included in boxes of cigars manufactured by the Girard Cigar Factory.
Other amazing miniature finds include 1) a complete bible measuring about 2 inches by 1.5 inches, 2) a dowry chest from Oberammergau containing bolts of materials and household items and 3) an operable electric train. The child’s room is even equipped with a dollhouse that’s a replica of the actual Langsdorf dollhouse!