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What Is This At the Charlotte Inn?

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  Site Where: 27 South Summer Street [map], Edgartown, MA, United States, 02539-8115
October 3, 2012 at 9:01 AM | by | Comments (0)

We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our newest series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotel rooms that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.

Last year, we took a few steps around the Charlotte Inn's museum-worthy hoard of antique letterboxes, 19th century oil paintings, old medicine boxes, and stuffed pheasants in the lobby. But it turns out, the distinctive collection spreads throughout the entire hotel.

In the Coach House Suite, for example, you'll find this strange looking pulley system device hanging over one of the windows in the suite's living room.

But what does it do?

The pulley system is actually what some would call an old-fashioned dimmer switch. You see, by fastening the lamp to a weighted pulley system, guests can pull the lamp closer for better reading light, or push it up for more of a ambient glow. Though not as automatic as the switches, screens, and remote controls we're used to today, it's actually a pretty ingenious device, and allows people to position the lamp exactly where they want it.

Like so much in this Relais & Chateaux-owned property, we couldn't help but play with the retractable reading lamp for a while, before moving onto other fun doodads like the remote control fireplace (not very 19th century, but still a hoot), automatic shoe shiner and rotary telephone.

In the off-season, this suite goes for $695 a night, though in the summer, you can expect to pay significantly more than that!

[Photo: HotelChatter]

Disclosure: We stayed here while on assignment for another publication, but all opinions expressed are our own.

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