Discoveries

Joseph Gurney Cannon Foot Locker/tiles/non-collection/C/CHOB_discoveries_trunk_PN2018_02_0025-2.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration Each Member had a wooden foot locker like this to ship their papers to and from the district, but the discovery of Cannon’s hidden in the House Office Building later named for him was unique.

Letter from Joseph Warren Fordney to Joe Cannon, 1902/tiles/non-collection/C/CHOB_discoveries_fordneyletter_PN2018_02_0020.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration This friendly note of support for his candidacy for the Speakership from Rep. Joseph Fordney was stashed in Cannon’s foot locker. During his second term leading the House, Cannon promoted Fordney to chair the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy.
F.H. Finley & Son Bottle, ca. 1910/tiles/non-collection/C/CHOB_discoveries_finley_2016_087_004-2.xml
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
F.H. Finley & Son was a local bottler, starting with beer in the 1870s. By the time this bottle was tossed in a trench outside the Cannon Building around 1910, the company also bottled soft drinks.
Coca-Cola Bottle, ca. 1915/tiles/non-collection/C/CHOB_discoveries_cocacola_2016_087_005-2.xml
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
This bottle was discovered in 2015, about a century after it was stashed away during an earlier construction project in the Cannon Building.
Rock Creek Ginger Ale Bottle, 1956/tiles/non-collection/C/CHOB_discoveries_rockcreek_2018_062_006-3.xml
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives Rock Creek Ginger Ale, a local product, enjoyed popularity among construction workers at the Cannon Building, based on the several bottles that were found around the building during the 2015 Renovation. This one dates from 1956.
The Cannon Building has harbored surprises that revealed interesting bits of House history.

In 1994, a staffer found Joe Cannon’s foot locker—a trunk used to send letters or research back and forth between Washington and his district—hidden away in the Cannon House Office Building. The trove of documents, which were kept separate from Cannon's other papers because of their sensitive content, included five bound books with a page of information on each Member of Congress, correspondence, and Cannon’s own notes.

More recently, the Cannon Building renovation unearthed some surprising objects hidden in various nooks and crannies. Beverages bottles through the ages, including an array of sodas, were the most common.

A crawl space next to an elevator yielded a bowler hat, which was likely tucked away not long after the building’s initial construction in 1908. Back then, construction worker wore felt hats like these, rather than today’s hardhats.





Bowler Hat/tiles/non-collection/C/CHOB_discoveries_bowler_2018_124_002-beforeandafter.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
After receiving the attention of a conservator, this bowler hat—found in a crawl space during the Cannon building renovation—looks nearly as good as new.

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