Here we see a German boy on his first day of school. We believe he went to school on the pony, however, there is no insription on the snapshot so we can only guess. Notice how the pony has been decorated for the occassion. We are not sure about datng the photograph. we would guess the 194s, bt we are not at all sure.
I found this photo on Ebay and thought it quite interesting. I don't think we have any German first-day-at-school images that include a pony. I was rather charmed by it because I had a pony when I
was a boy and it revived old memories of my childhood. How you would date this photo? To me it looks like the late 1940s or even early 1950s. The reason is the extremely briefly cut short trousers, which I
don't think were nearly this short during the 1930s. Also the cut of the suit jacket looks a bit too modern to me for the pre-war period. It is cut like a child's riding habit, but perhaps the style is special for a boy with a pony. Notice also the cuffs on the short trousers--a feature that looks rather unusual to me. Lederhosen sometimes had turn-up cuffs but I don't recall seeing them on cloth trousers or
dress-up clothes for boys. The long brown stockings, tautly held up, presumably by a Strapsleibchen, would fit both pre-war and post-war styles. Do the wide lapels give us any hint? I'm not sure we can rely
too much on the cut of the suit, however, because it looks like a suit specially tailored for riding. But the very short trousers and long stockings don't seem very practical for serious riding. The costume
looks very dressy (including the neat collar with a sweater but apparently no necktie). My guess is that boy comes from a rather upper-class family and may have been photographed on his family estate
with the pony. The goody cone, however, looks rather meagre, doesn't it? It seems a good deal smaller than our other examples. What about the haircut? Any clues here?
I don't think this is a riding habit. The main feature there other than jodpurs was a short jacket so it remained clear of the saddle. Also notice the tackel on the horse. This is farm work tackel, not riding tackel. It looks like, hoever, the pony has been decorated by a large pom, probably red. We are not sure how to date the portrait either. My guess is the boy lived in a rural area and rode the pony to school which is why he is pictured with the cone and school back pack. The cuffs are unusual. We think that rather than stylistic, they were a way of extending te wear of the short pants. Like Lederhosen, they could be turned down as the boy grew taller. We are not sure about datng the photograph. we would guess the 1940s, bt we are not at all sure. The reader above could be rightabout the very earky-50s.
A British reader writes, "The short trouser turn-ups are inteesting. This style is fashionable once again. Several school uniforms for younger children have shot trousers with turn ups and the short trouses are longer in the leg also. Looks a late 1940s photograph. The boy might have ridden the horse to school but I think t pulled a cart which the boy ravelled in." We think our reader is right about the pony's tackel. It does look like it was mean to pull a smll cart.
I suppose that the picture with the pony is artificial. In Germany, the villages in rural areas were (and still to some extent today are) rather narrow together, not farms spread over the countryside as in the United States and long distances between them (needing school buses or the like). The villages had a church, a school, some shops, and farmers' home all together in a circle of about 500 meters (a 1/3 of an U.S. mile). In the cities there were public transport available for secondary school pupils, street cars.
Looking back to my school time, 1941 to 1954, I always went to school by feet; only in secondary
school classmates came with the street car.
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