U.S. School Clothes: Individual Schools--The 1910s


Figure 1.-- The East View School was located in Grayson County Kentucky. It looks like a typical rural school at the time. The school portrait was taken in 1911 and shows the boys mostly wearing overalls or kneepants. Overalls were not very common even at rural schools in the 1900s, but for some reason gthis suddenly changed about 1909. We are not sure just why such a change seems to have taken place so suddenly, almost overnight. Several boys here wear blouses with wide collars. The girls mostly wear resses, a few wuith haur bows.

American school children in the 1910s dressed differently depending on where they went to school. We still see a lot of rural one-room schools. Rural children commonly wore dungares to school and webnt barefoot. This was especially true of the South which was the poorest part of the country. Boys in the North were more likely to dress up, at least for the school photograph. We see youngr boys in the early 1910s still wearing blouses with wide collars. Kneepants were common and when the boys were not barefoot commonly worn with dark long stockings. Many boys not wearing overalls wore suspenders. Boys in the cities dressed differently most wore shoes to school and overalls were not common. Many boys wore suits to school. Kneepants were common, but we also see boys wearing knickers. Some boys wore ties, but mostly in city schools. We see some boys wearing sailor suits, but not very many. We do notice girls wearing sailor dresses. Some boys wear coveralls, but they were not very common. They were especially rare in rural schools. Many boys wear flat caps, but we also see beanies. We note Catholic boys dressed up in suits for First Cmmunion.

1910

We have a large number of class portraits from the 1910. School photiograohy was by this time a well established tradition. Boys into their early-teens wore knee pants, commonly knee pants suits of vasrious types to school younger boys might wear blouses and knee pants. We see some sailor suits. We see some Eton collars, but not very many. The flat cap was becoming very popular. A few boys had center hair parts. Girls wore both blouses with skirts and dresses. Quite a few girls had hair bows. Most children wore long stockings. Black long stockings were especially common. Some younger boys as well as girls of differenht ages might wear white long stockings. There were major differences between city and rural schools. There were still many small rural schools throughout America. And here overalls were very common. Younger boys at the rural schools commonly came to school barefoot. This varied regionally because of climate.

Early 1910s


Columbia School (early-1910s)

This AZO photo postcard portrait shows what looks like 1st graders all decked out in their best outfits. They attend Columbia School in Cleveland Ohio. Notice how smartly dresed the children are compared to rural schools. The portrait is not dated, but looks like the 1910s to us. The AZO four triangles ip stamp box give us a range of 1904-18. The mix of lace-up and button shoes suggest the late-1900s or early-10s and the knickers suggest the 1910s. So we would guess the portait was taken in the early-10s. The girls wear light-colored dresses with low waists, looking rather like tunic suits. Many have really great hairbows, both white and colored bows. . Most of the boys wear suits. One boy wears a sweater. We only see one boy wearing a sailor suit. Other just wear white shirts abd ties. The boys in front wear knickers.

P.S. 41 (1910-11)

This was P.S. 41 which we can clearly see on the board propped up inthe center, only we do not know what the city was. We can see the school building in the background and it looks like a big city school, we just do not know what city. We have found a lot of P.S. schools in New York City, but New York was not the only city using P.S. designations for schools. So we are left not know just where this was. Confusingly we can also see 'No. 15' written on the board. We have no idea what that means, perhapd the room number. The names of the children are written on the back along with 'Class of 1910-1911". We take that to mean the school year when the photograph was taken. The children look to be about 9 years old. Many of the girls have large hair bows. Several boys wear suits. It is a little difficult to tell what the other boys are earing, but we see blouses and sweaters. All the boys wear knickers and long stockings. It is intresting how fast knickers replaced knee pants. Knee panys had been worn for several decades, but were lrhely replaced in only a couple years. Only one boy has a floppy bow. This would have been much more common a decade earlier. As far as we can tell almost all of the boys wear high-top lace-up shoes.

St. Joseph School (early-1910s)

This wonderful panoramic class portrait shows a great parochial 1st grade class. We know it is a Catholic school, even though we do not see the nun. We know it is a Catholic school not only because of the name, but there is a shrine at the back of the room. Like public schools, there was a strong patriotic ethos promoted in the school. Notice how the boys are honoring the flag. Inconprehensibly, many modern educators today have the idea that there is something wrong with patriotism and honoring the flag. An issue at the time in Protestant America was the patriotism of Catholics. Many Americans believed that they owed first allience to the Pope. This was an issue not put to rest until Senator John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960. Interestingly in elections since, Catholic voters have proven the most stalwartly patriotic of virtually all voter groups except Evagelical Protestants. There were something like 40 children in the class. That is way too large for a 1st grade class, surely the most important grade because it is where most children learn to read. Strict discipline was needed for a 1st grade class this large and the nun looks to have them well under control. Parochial schools received no state funds and for the most part, Catholic parishes were working-class communities with families with limited incomes. Thus money was always tight. We do not know where the school was located. There have to be quite a number of St. Joseph schools.

Unidentified junior high school (early 1910s)

Here we see junior high school students. The school is not identified. The back of the portait has the name of two teachers, Miss Ryan and Miss Sniferest?, but there are some 100 children here, more than two classes. The dealer described it as a junior high school graduation. Junior high schools were 7th-9th grade between elementay (primary) schools and senior high school. Today middle schools are more common, usally 6th-8th grade. Without knowing the name of the schhol, we can not be sure about the grades. The children look like junior high school stidents, but we can not confirm that they are all from the graduating class which would be 9th graders, meaning 14-year olds. Notice that all of the boys are wearing suits or white shirts and ties with knickers and long stockings. Some of the boys may be wearing knee pants rather than knickers, biut this id difficult to tell. It is notable that not one boy is wearing long pants. And they are all wearing black long stockings. The portrai is not dated, but we would guess it was taken about 1910-12. We know this because knickers began repalving knee pants about 1909. And the flag here is before Ariziona enterd the Union (1913). Thus 1900-12 seems a very likely date.

Unidentified high school (early-1900s)

Here we see what we initially thought was a high school class. The brickwork in the background suggests to us that it was recently built. The boys are some of the older boys at the school. We would guess perhaps the junior class (17 year olds) or perhaps even the senior class (18 year olds). There appears to be some age difference in the group, but that is always the case. The only thing we don't understand is that it is an all boy group. American high schools with very few exceptions were coeducational. We don't think a class group would be separate for boy/girl portrait. It is a small class group, but a lot of high schools were small in the early-20th century. So this could be a class group. And often these small high schools were in small towns in rural areas. At such schools therecwere often more girls than boys because the fathers kept the boys working on the farm. This may be some activity group, but most activity group (like the debate team or Latin class) unless it was a sports team would probably be coeducational. So we are not entirely sure justvwhat this group is. The only mrking on the back is the nne of one ofcthe boys--Malcomb. The portrait is undated, but the clothes we believe date it to the early-1910s. Perhaps readers will have some insights to offer.

1911

McIntosh School (1911)

Here we see the McIntosh School. It was the only school near Cotton Mills, Winona, Mississippi. A photograph in May 1911 shows the teacher and the pupils. It was a private school taught by Miss McIntosh. It might be called an old fashioned dame school. Miss. McIntosh operated a school for several years. She charged each pupil only $1.00 a month. With about 10 pupils the job was not very lucrative. She said it was discouraging, but that many of the children seemed to appreciate her efforts. "What we need is compulsory education and a free school out here, which we may get before long." The children she taught ranged from 6 to 10 years. The Southern states did not have public schoo; systems before the Civil War and lagged behinfd the other states in establishing public schools after the War. In fact, one of the charges leved against Reconstruction government was reckless spending, especially for education. Mississppi well into the 20th century was commonly at the bottom of the lost of states for spending on education.

Unidentified North Wales School (about 1911)

This photograph shows a school class in North Wales, Pennsylvania (a suburb of Philadelphia), apparently taken around 1910-12. These children look like 8th-graders, and this is probably their graduation photo before moving on to high school. The children would be about 12 to 13 years old. The boys sitting cross-legged in the front row are all apparently wearing knee pants suits with long black stockings although a few boys may wear above-the-knee knickers. They also wear white shirts, apparently with detachable starched collars and bow or straight ties. Notice the boy near the center with the bow tie and the center-part haircut. The girls wear mostly white long skirts with white shirtwaists. The season is apparently June, the time when graduation photos would be taken. It is interesting that the boys still wear mostly knee pants rather than above-the-knee knickers. It was a period when knee pants were still being worn, obviously, but that also featured the newer-style above-the-knee knickers in some places. These children appear to come from quite affluent families. They are very carefully and rather expensively dressed.

Rural school (1911)

Unlike many European schools, American schools were generally coeducational, thus providing glimpses of what boys and girls were wearing. The children have come out of the school so we do not get to see what kind of hats or caps they were wearing. Presumably the children dressed up a bit to have their photographs taken. Boys at this rural school sailor suits, various shirts, and Fauntleroy blouses. Mot boys appear to wear a shirt or blouse to school without a jacket. They are all long sleeve shirts. Two of the boys at back appear to be wearing suits. Presumably the children dressed up a bit to have their photographs taken. All of the boys have short haircuts. Notice the pinafores that the girls are wearing, not to different from the clothes that girls were wearing in the 1880s. Hair ribbons are very popular for the girls. One girl wears a middy blouse.

East View School (1911)

The East View School was located in Grayson Country Kentucky. It looks a typical rural school at the time. An school portrait taken in 1911 shows the boys mostly wearing overalls or kneepants. The overalls the boys wear are quite varied. One boy at the front has overalls tha look almost like a plain pinafore rather than bib-front overalls. Many of the boys not wearing overalls are wearing suspenders. Several boys wear blouses with wide collars. The girls all wear dresses. Several have pigtails and hairbows. All of the children appear to be barefott, although the older children in the back row presumably are wearing shoes. There is quite an age range here. Some of the older children look more like high school students. We believe that some of these rural schools often had classes up to grade 8. (A normal primary was grades 1-6.). Grade 8 might be children 13-14 years old or even older if they got a late start or did not do well in school.

Columbus School (1911)

This photo was taken in Columbus, the county seat of Colorado County, Texas. The county was formed in 1837 from a Mexican Municipality. We are not entirely sure about the school's nme. It was located in Columbus, but it may have had a didderent name. The photo shows a class of elementary school, about 1911. It is a class of younger children, perhaps 2nd graders. The boys wear blouses, a few with bows or ties. One boy has a particularly large collar. All the boys wear knickers. Note that none wear short or long pants. The girls wear dresses, mostly white dresses. Almost all the children wear black long stockings. A few of the boys are barefoot. Note that while some girls wear sandals, the boys wear heavy high-top boot-like shoes.

Albany elementary school (1911)

This class portrait came from Albany, which leads us to believe that the school might well have been in that area of the state. Of course this is just a guess. There is no dount the date here because 1911 has been chalked on the walls of the school. The children look like 4th or 5th graders to us (about 9 or 10 year olds). The boys are all wearing knee pants with black long stockings and (in most cases) long underwear which tends to make the stockings look very lumpy. Probably the boys just accepted the lumpy look as inevitable, but I read recently a memoir by a grandmother (from a local newspaper) who pointed out that girls hated the lumpy appearance and when out from under the oversight of their mothers (who worried about chills and colds), the girls would often "unfasten their garters, roll the stockings down so that they could roll up the long underwear under their skirts, then reattach the supporters to their stockings for a smoother appearance."

1912

Grafton School (1912)

Yonger boys in 1912 did not wear suit jackets to school. Most boys wore shirts and blouses, buttoned to the collar. None of the boys wore the ruffled collar that were still popular in the 1900s. One boy wore a bow and another a necktie. One boy had a smart sailor suit. Boys wore knickers, including some above the knee styles, with dark long stockings. The boys have short hair cuts, contrasting to the long hair worn by mot of the girls. Hair bows were very popular with the girls.

Unidentified rural school (1912)

Unfortunately we do not know the name of this wonderful sod school. Note the stove pipe, presumably coming from a pot belly stove. They probably used cow 'chips' gathered by the children for fuel. All we know for sure is that it was AZO photoback postcard photograph taken in 1912. We are not sure when the school was built, but it looks to be in good shape, probably it was rather new. (Sod schools and houses held up well in high winds, but they did not weather well.) We do not know where the school was located, but it was clearly somewhere on the Great Plains. Notice the flat background. We would guess the northern Plains, perhaps Minesota or the Dakotas. Sod schools and homes were also built on the southern plains. . This is a good example that no matter where a child lived in the United States, there was a school he or she could attend. There are 13 children, probably mostly first generation Americans. The boys mostly wear knee pants. The girls wear dresses and pinafores. All the children not wearing overalls wear long black stockings. The boys all wear caps. The girls do not wear hats, but we would guess wore them to school. Notice their teacher in the back.

1913

Brick School (1913)

This photograph shows the Brick School in Amherst, New Hampshire during 1913. Brick Schol was the actual name of the school and not a description of the school building. New Hampshire tthe time was largely rural and populated with small towns. There was some limited industry, especially in Manchester, the largest city. Amherst was a small town wuth less than 1,000 inhabitants. Brick School must have been a one-room school, although it is not pictured, because there are only 15 pupils. They look to be about 6-13 years of age, meaning 1st to 8th grade. Normally such a small school would be in the ountry, but in this case was in town because the ywn was so small. The younger children for ome reason are mostly boys and the old children girls. The boys wear caps and hats, several wear peaked caps. Several boys wear blouses, one a fancy Faunleroy blouse. As far as we can tell, all the boys wear knee pants. None of the boys wear overalls which were common in the time in rural areas. The girls wear dresses, pinafores, blouses and skirts. The children who are not barefoot wear black long stockings.

Greenbriar School (1913)

The Greenbriar School was located in Grayson Country Kentucky. The children look a little more prosperous than the East View School which was also located in Grayson County. The Greenbriar School also looks to be a rural school. Here we have the children photographed outside their school. Many of the boys wear overalls and are barefoot like the East View Schoo, but we see several smartly dressed younger boys, some wearing tunic suits with long stockings and shoes. All the younger children at the East View School were barefoot. The older boys are variously dressed. One boy wears overalls, but the boy next to him looks to be wearing a suit.

Turkey Creek School (1913)

The Turkey Creek School appears to have been a small, one-room school, althouh we do not have a photograph of the actual school building. A portrait of the children of different ages in 1913, however, suggests that the school was quite small. Rural schools like this genersally had children from 1st to 8th grade. That would be children from about 6-14 yearsof age. The school was located in Montgomery Country, Texas. We have one portrait taken March 14, 1913. Many of the children wear hats, giving us a good idea of hat styles at the time. Notice only one boy has a cap. The boys wear knickers and knee pants. Several of the younger children are barefoot. The teacher pictured with the children looks to have been very strict.

Hueytown School (1913)

We have an image of the Hueytown School in 1912. Hueytown was a small town in Alabama. The school is small, but looks like it might have two class rooms. The children wear a range of clothing. We do not note overalls. Several of the children wear suits. We note both kneepants and knickers. About half of the children wear long black stockings and half of barefoot.

Masonville School (1913)

The Masonville school appears to be a small one-room school in upsate New York. The photograph we have is not high quality but appears to show the boys mostly wearing knickers in 1913. One boy appears to be wearing an out grown tunic suit. Notice two girls wearing white pinafores.

Milton School (1913)

Here we see a great photograph of children playing a ring game at a one-room school on the Great Plains. It was taken in Milton, North Dakota during 1913. We are guessing the name of the school was the Milton School. It may have been the Huit School. Here we are not sure. American schools were often called "little red school houses". We're not sure what color the school here was painted. It does not look red. Nor do we know just what game the childre are playing. Perhaps one of our readers will recognize it. Notice that the teacher has joined the game.


1914


Mid-1910s

We have found some interesting images that are clearly from the 1910s, but we do not have the exact year. We like to include precisely dated images here, but of the images are goof enough we will add them here. By good enough we mean nice large images claerly showcasing the children's school wear or some interesting aspect of the svhool.

Hoquiam Elementary School

This postcard back school room portrait is entitled 'My First School' meaning a 1st grade classroom or 6-year old children. We believe it was the Hoquiam elementarry school or one of the Hoquiam schools because the photographer was located there. A reader tells us it could be in nearby Aberdeen. The chilren are all obediently seated at their desks, except for those out of the range of their camera who were position standing at the rear. All the little faces are fascinating. This is huge class, nearly 50 children. I don't know how a single teacher could have taught this lot. Some of their work is posted on the walls. Notice the wood buring heater. The portrait is undated, but given the AZO stamp box and the way the children are dressed we would say that the mid-1910s is the most likely date. The suits and knickers are a strong indicator that it was in the 1910s and confirmed by the AZO stamp box. But we do not know just when in the 1910s other than it was not real early as there are no knee pants and not later than 1918. So the mid-10s is the best estimate. Most of the boys wear suits. Tne boy wears a blouse an bow-tie. They would also be wearing knickers and black long stockings. The girls wear dresses and hair bows. There are some really amazing hair bows. The studio was J.C. Dean Photo in Hoquiam.

1915

Rural school (about 1915)

This school group looks to have been photographed about 1915. It is an unidentified image, but I would say was probably taken in a small town in a rural area. It looks like some of the children are Indian. Perhaps the school migh be be in North Dakota. The children do not seemed to have dressed up for the photograph.

Rossville School (1915-16)

Here we have a picture of the 2nd and 3rd grade class taken in Rossville, Georgia. We suspect the name of the school was the Rossville school, but we are not sure. Rossville is a small town located in Walker County, Georgia. It is a largely rural area. The area is best known for the conflict between the Cherokee Indians and the state of Georgia in the early 19th century. This class portrait we have shows many children that look poor. That appear from their look, the old dirty clothing, the dirty feet. Most of the boys come to school barefoot. Several wear overalls.

Stony Point School (1915)

This postcard back photograph shows the Stony Point School in 1915. Some of the boys look to be 16-18 years old. Given the age range, this is clearly a school and not a class portrait. It is presumbly a grade 108 school. The school was thus very small, only 20 students. The teacher is at the left. Schools this size are usually an indicator of a rural school. The building behind the children, however, does not look like a rural school which were usually wooden structures. Stony Point is a small town bear Cleveland, Ohio. It is interesting because all of the boys wear long pats at a time when virtually all American boys wore knickers. Virtually all of the other school portraits from the 1910s show most of the boys wearing knickers. This is the only elementary (primary) school we have found where the boys are not wearing knickers. We don't think it is a rural school because only one boy wears overalls. We suspect that the boys come from industrial worker families. The rather tattered look ofthe clothes many of the children are wearing further point to worker families. Only the small size of the school argues against this assessment. The girls wear dresses and long stockings.

1916

Coalinga Union High School (1916)

Here we see the Coalinga Union High School in California's Central Vlley. We have the photograph of the girls basketball team in 1916. The boys wore a short pabts uniform. The girls, however, wire middy blouses, scaves, long bloomers and long stockings.

Laramie Training School (1916)

Here we see boys at the Laramie Training School in Laramie, Wyoming, The photograph was taken in October 2, 1916. The group is referred to in a notation on the photograph as the "Potato Club" under the supervision of a supervisor, Miss Adsit. The Laramie Training School was an experimental school attached to the University of Wyoming at which prospective teachers in the Department of Education got practical training as public school teachers. The boys have obviously collected sacks of potatoes for some reason--perhaps as part of an agricultural project, or perhaps as a charitable enterprise of some sort. Note the scale for weighing the potatoes in the background. The boys are nicely dressed for their photograph, wearing suits and ties, and in at least two sases sweaters. One of the boys wears a heavy cardigan sweater with a tie. The black boy in the back also seems to be wearing a sweater, but without a tie. One boy wears a Norfolk-style suit. The boys wear white shirts. Interestingly, for 1916, Laramie was already integrated, there being one black boy in the group. (Wyoming while still a territory had tried to prevent blacks from residing there and many early public schools did not accept black children. The boys all seem to be wearing knickers with long black stockings. For some reason, the boys sitting cross-legged in the front seem to have shed their jackets and are wearing only shirts and ties with their knickers and stockings. For some reason the photographer saw it appropriate to group them together.

Westwood Elementary School (1916-17)

Here we see a portrait of the children in their classroom with the children sitting smarly at their desks. It is a photo of Miss Grieser's 4th grade class of 1916-17 at Westwood School Elementary Shool in Cincinnati, Ohio. Not only do you get to see each of the children from this class but every single student's name is written on back of the mat board in ink! Also written on back is the year, teacher's name and grade number. Many of the boys wear ties, although not jackets. We suspect that the photo was taken during the end of the school year whe the weather began to warm up. The photo contains a lot of fashionably dressed children. Check out the sizes of the bows on the heads of the girls on the far left.

1917

St. Anthony (1917)

This is a Catholic school where photographs were taken during World War I. There are of course quite a number of St. Anthony schools in America. It appears to be an all boys' school, at least the boys were photographed separately. This was not common at Catholic primary schools which were normally coed. Unfortunately we do not know when these photographs were taken. One photograph was taken in the Spring when the younger boys were doing their First Communion. The older boys may be doing their Confirmation. The second photograph shows the boys patriotically dressed in a variety of military uniforms. We assume that this was taken after America entered the War (April 1917).

Unidentified Elementary School (1917)

Here we have a class portrait of an unidentified elemntary school class. All we know for sure was that the portrait was taken in Novmber 1917. The children look about 6 years old, meaning 1st graders. The boys mostly wear blouses, including some sailor outfits. We can not tell much about the pants, but suspect they were mostly knickers. A few boys wear floppy bow, but the shift go neckties seems well underway. Several of the girls wear hairbows including some very large ones. All he children appear to be wearing long stockings.

1918



1919

Irwin Avenue Junior High School (1919)

The Irwin Ave. Junior High School was located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Irwin Ave. Junior High Science Club photograph (1919) shows the boys quite dressed up. Most of them wear knicker suits with formal shirts and ties. A few of the boys wear only shirts without jackets. The variety of trousers here is interesting. Notice the front row which shows long trousers, knee pants, and above-the-knee knickers. These children would be about 13 or 14. The most conservative parents would insist on knee pants and long black stockings whereas the more liberal parents would allow long pants. The middle-ground compromise would appear to be above-the-knee knickers.

Johnston Elementary School (1919)

The Johnston School was located in Detroit, Michign. We do not know much about the school, but it was a public elementary (primary) school. It seems to be a fairly typical public elementary school at the time. The one photograph we have shows the children playing and exercising in May 1919. We note children with balls and an exercise hoop. Some children seen to be using barbells. And children in the back are doing a May Day pole. It is not clear if this was their classroom because there are no desks. Perhaps they have moved them out of the way for a play session. We suspect that it was a special room because desks at the time were fairly heavy, too heavy for younger children to easily move. It is not, however, a gynasium. The children are having a play/exercise session. Perhaps it was a rainy day. The flag is hung prominantly as was common in American classrooms. There is a poster on the backwall, but unfortunately we can't read it. The girls all wear dresses and the boys knickers. All the children wear black long stockings.

Logan School (1919)

This class photo of the Logan School, Denver, Colorado. It looks to be a elementary (primary schoo for grades 1-8. It could be a junior high school (grades 7-9). The only information we have was taken in June 1919. The portrait shows the children very dressed up for their school picture. The children seem to be about 7th graders (about 12 years old), but this could be an 8th grade graduation class (which would mean that the children would be about 13). The boys mostly wear formal suits with shirts and ties. Some of the boys wear knickers (both above-the-knee and below-the knee), and one or two boys seem to be in knee pants. They all wear black long stockings. The girls tend to wear white stockings. Two boys in the back row seem to be wearing only shirts without jackets. One girl in the front wear appears to wearing spats--a bit unusual for girls, one might suppose. The photo seems to have been taken on the front steps of the school in warm weather (it was June--graduation time).

Rainey School (1919)

This class portrait was taken October 3, 1919 at the Rainey School, St. Clair County, Wisconsin. Because of all the sailor suits, we at first thought this was a German school. American boys wore sailor suits in the 1910s, but you never see virtually all of a class wearing them. Not all of the boys are wearing sailor suits, but six are. The boys here are on the upper end of the age range for sailor suits at the time. We have been unable to find more information about the school, but quite a bit of information can be gleaned from the image. The boys to us look to be about 8-9 years old, meaning 3rd-4th graders. They have a male teacher. This, the size of the class (only 8 boys), and the fact that they are all boys means that it was a private school. It may have been a boarding school, but we are not sure about that. The size of the class and the fact that the location given is a county rather than a city suggests a boarding school. All the sailor suits, especially short pants sailor suits with knee socks suggests that the parents were given a suggested dress code. Most boys at the time would have worn knicker suits and long stockings to school. This shows we think a British influence. Many American private schools at the time were influenced by the British system. Unlike knee pants and knickers which were worn by boys across class and income lines, short pants were most common with boys from affluent families which of course fits in with a private school. Also notice the page boy haircut of one of the boys. You would not have seen this in a public school for boys this age.

St. James Catholic School (1919)

We notice the the St. James Catholic School Catholic School in St. Louis, Missouri. The school was sponsored by the St. James Church. Most Catholic schools, especially primary schools were sponsored by a church located right by the school or close by the school. Catholic schools in America are often called parochial schools. We do not know a great deal anout the school. One photograph shows the 5th grade, taken in 1919. The children are sitting at their desks in their classroom.

Tisbury School (about 1919)

This photograph is a class at Tisbury School on Martha's Vineyard. It seems to date from about 1919 or 1920. Some of the boys still wear knee pants with long stockings while others wear knickers (also with long stockings). One boy seems to be wearing knee socks and bare knees with his above-the-knee knickers. The adult clothing looks a bit more modern too. Note the shorter length of the teacher's skirt on the left. A few of the boys wear tiny bow ties with their white shirts. Quite a variety of styles is represented here.

Late-1910s


Farmington School (late-1910s)

Here we see a group from Farmington, New Hampshire visiting Washington, D.C. We have the town, but are unsure about the name of the school, perhapsthe Farmingtom school. The portrait is a cabinet card. We re not sure just what the group here is. Farmington was a small town with a few thousand residents. We doubt if they had a highschool. There may have been more than one elementary school, meaning schools with classes from 1st through the 8th grade. This was normal for small towns without high school or rural schools. The children here may be a graduating class of the 8th graders. There are, however, many adults wuth them which seems unusual for a class trip. The children only slightly out number the adults. They certainly were a well chaperoned group. Also the children seem very well dressed. The boys wear mostly flat caps, but we see a few dress peaked caps (what the British call school caps) with more rounded crowns. They all wearsuits, nostly with dounle-breasted jackets. All that we can see wear knickers with black long stockings and high-top shoes. The girls wear elaborate wide-brimed hats with hairbows. Normally girls had to choose between the two, but here hey have move the hairbows down to the noe of their necks. They all wear dresses, bur cibere by jackets and overcoats. Like the boys they wear black long stockings and hifgh top shoes. The portrait is undated. The dealer suggests 1919. It cerainly was taken in the 1910s, we might have guessed a little earlier earlier in the decade.

Unidentified primary school (Late 1910s)

We have a matted formatted school portrait. It looks to be a 1st grade clss. Unfortunately we do not know the name of this school or even when it was taken. We have several details from the portrait showing the children's outfits in detail. We at first thought this was from the early 1920s, but perhaps the late-1910s is more likely. Note the footwear. This looks more like the 1910s. The children are posing in front of their elementary (primary) school. The girls are holding their dolls. This must have been a special day for the girls to bring their dolls to school. Two of the boys wear sailor suits. One boy has a lrge white collar and floppy bow, Another boy wears what looks like a home knitted sweater.








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Created: 1:47 AM 9/5/2004
Last updated: 1:38 AM 10/1/2017