U.S. School Clothes: Onarga School (Onarga, Illinois)


Figure 1.--his school photograph was identified as "1st Intermediate" from Onarga, Illinois. We are not sure what the name of the school was, but as the photograph was taken in Onarga, we are guessing that the name of the school was the Onarga School. The photograph was taken about 1882.

This school photograph was identified as "1st Intermediate" from Onarga, Illinois. We know nothing about the town at this time, but notice the substantial red brick school building in the background. We are not sure what the name of the school was, but as the photograph was taken in Onarga, we are guessing that the name of the school was the Onarga School. The photograph was taken about 1882. The photograph is of interest for several reasons. Note the black girl in the front row. This was clearly an integrated school. The boys mostly wear suits. We are not sure if this was common or if the children dressed up for the photograph. Strangely for the time, only two boys wear a floppy bow. Also notice the girl in the first row, third from the right, who appears to be wearing single bar strap shoes. This was not all that common in the 1880s. Most children wore high-top shoes. One reader thinks they may be t-strap shoes. This is difficult to tell, however, from the available image. They look more like basic strap shoes to us. If they are "t" strap shoes, this would push the traditional English sandal type well back into the 1880s. Also notice the hat and cpat their teacher is wearing.









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Created: 5:05 PM 3/11/2006
Last updated: 5:05 PM 3/11/2006