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Image: White House staff, 1877.
White House staff, 1877. Taken during the Rutherford B. Hayes administration, this is the earliest known posed photograph of workers at the White House. This group was supplemented by additional staff—both African American and white—including ushers, valets, gardeners, coachmen, stable hands, and messengers.

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Image: White House staff, c. 1950.

White House staff, c. 1950. White House employees and members of their families often socialized together. In 1992, former chief butler and maître d’ Alonzo Fields (seated, center) observed, “I see the White House as belonging to the people, not only as a home for a president every four years, but as a monument to the hopes of the people.”

Alonzo Fields scrapbook, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Image: White House staff, c. 1982.

White House staff, c. 1982. By the early 1980s, the White House staff, shown gathered in the State Dining Room, included butlers, calligraphers, carpenters, chefs, cooks, doormen, electricians, engineers, florists, gardeners, groundskeepers, housekeepers, painters, plumbers, stewards, ushers, and valets.

The White House


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