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Tag: Hoover Library

Hoover Library presents Set Momjian’s White House china collection

Set Momijan with a few pieces from his collection.

Few of us will ever get to eat off of White House china, but here’s a chance to see how past Presidents dined.

White House china collector Set Momjian will be speaking at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum on October 6 at 2 p.m. about some of his pieces currently on display in the exhibit “Dining with the President.”

Momjian is well known for having the largest collection of White House china outside of the White House. He has pieces from every Presidential collection, which he acquired in a variety of ways.

A retired Ford Motor Company executive, Momjian served as a representative to the United Nations under the Carter administration. He would later serve as Presidential adviser to the past five administrations, starting with the Johnson administration. He has enjoyed personal friendships with Presidents and First Ladies.

But Momjian didn’t set out to be a collector of White House china. He began collecting china by accident in the 1950s, when dealers included pieces of china along with the Presidential letters and documents he was collecting. As his collection of porcelain pieces grew, he came to appreciate the historical significance and beauty of each piece. Eventually, he began to seek out the personal china patterns of First Ladies as well.

Momjian isn’t just a … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: Herbert the Handsome

Mining engineer and future President Herbert Hoover, ca. 1900. (Hoover Library)

Herbert Hoover—successful businessman, international humanitarian, President during the Crash of 1929—and rugged mustachioed mining engineer? Yes, Bert Hoover started his career in the goldfields of Australia in 1897–1898. He then headed to China to develop coal mines, and he and his wife, Lou, were there during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. Fun fact: Herbert is the only U.S. President to have been fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Although we usually picture the 31st President as clean-shaven and impeccably turned out, pictures from his early days show a man with a bit of dash and swagger.

Today happens to be the anniversary of the dedication of Hoover Dam. The monumental dam across the Colorado River was dedicated on September 30, 1935. When construction was begun in 1930, the project was called the Hoover Dam, but after Hoover left office, Boulder Dam was the commonly used name and the name used at the dedication. Legislation in 1947 officially restored the name Hoover Dam.

If you want to learn more about Herbert Hoover’s pre-Presidential life, visit the Hoover Library. To learn about his humanitarian efforts during World War I, read “Herbert Hoover and Belgian Relief” in Prologue magazine.

Close-up of Hoover Dam transmission lines on the side of a cliff, ca. 1941, by Ansel Adams. (ARC 519850; 79-AAB-14)


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