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Good Clean Fun: 1912

Good Clean Fun: 1912

Circa 1912. "Neighborhood House, pool room." Another look at this Washington, D.C., settlement house. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Pool Room

I shot many a game of pool in this place back in the late 30's and 40's. The pool room was located upstairs over the gym in the alley back of the Neighborhood House. You entered through the gym, straight through to the back, and up the stairs. Things changed a little from 1912 to the 30's and 40's because I don't ever remember seeing anyone wearing nice suits like those kids are. Anyway, great memories. Thanks.

Mrs. Eugenia Paul Jefferson

Mrs. Jefferson was the daughter-in-law of the great American comedian Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905), famous for his portrayals of Rip Van Winkle. She was also the author of "Intimate Recollections of Joseph Jefferson," published by Dodd, Mead in 1909.

Club Pennants

The pennants on the wall represent the names of clubs at Neighborhood House. The following article concerning the Spring Festival at the house talks of dances and skits put on by the clubs. Of special note is the "Pleasure Club Girls," a rather saucy name for a club of 14 to 16 year-olds.


Washington Post, Apr 27, 1913

Eleventh Spring Festival at Neighborhood House

...
The Golden Rule Club and the Merry Makers' Club, of girls a little older, give a masque of the children of fairyland and a May-pole dance by English shepherdesses. In the evening the boys hold the stage, the True Americans and White Eagles giving a Robin Hood play, and the Progress and Young Builders clubs offering a minstrel show.

On Friday afternoon and Aztec and Bluemont clubs and several girls' clubs give the various May-day ceremonials of other countries. in the evening is another play, given by the Pleasure Club Girls, of 14 to 16 years old. This is "The Play of Merrymount," a May-day tale of gypsies and Puritans in 1626, written by Miss Constance McKay, and it is followed by scenes from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by two young men's and young women's clubs, the Wyvern Girls Society and the Keystone Boys Club, the last feature of that day being Morris dances by the Olympia Boys' Club.

The last event of the festival is a version of "Hansel and Gretel," dramatized by Mrs. Eugenia Paul Jefferson, and acted by the Neighborhood Peace Club.

Supersize me.

What else do they suspend from those ceiling hooks? The pool table?

48-star flag?

No, that's not a 48-star flag. A 48-star flag has six rows of eight stars. This flag has staggered rows, not aligned rows. (A 50-star flag also has staggered rows).

Hilcat

[Count the stars. Six rows of 8 makes 48. - Dave]

Prior to 1916 there was no official flag design. From the flag website nava.org:

Q: I have two different 48 state flags. One has 48 staggered stars and the other has eight equal rows across with six rows down. Were there two different 48 state flags ever made? - Marla

A: Prior to 1916, there were no official specifications for US flags. Indeed these two variants show up right from the beginning of the 48 star flag in 1912. After 1916, pretty much everyone switched to the even rows with the stars one over the other like the second one you mention. 48 star flags with staggered rows are somewhat rare and are early (1912-1916 or thereabouts).

Special K

What's the K on the plaque above the piano represent?

Question

There's a cross on a shield hanging above the piano. Does anyone know what the letter "k" signifies?

Magazine

Can anyone tell what magazine the boy on the couch is reading?

45 + 13

Using my superpower for spotting trivia, the flag suspended from the ceiling is one that was in use from 1896 to 1908, after Utah was admitted to the union. There were four more changes to the flag between 1908 and 1960 as five more US territories were recognised as states.

Any more and you're going to need a bigger flag.

[That's a 48-star flag in our photo. - Dave]

Trouble in River City

This all looks so nice and progressive. But I seem to recall pool was once a decadent activity a la Meredith Willson.

The Music Man

Where Is Harold Hill When You Need Him?

Playgrounds, Gymnasiums & Baths

Washington Post, Oct 24, 1906

Help Neighborhood House

Social Settlement in Southwest Applies for Incorporation

Charles F. Weller, General Secretary of the Associated Charities, his wife, Mrs. Eugenia Winston Weller, and John B. Sieman, jr., yesterday filed with the recorder of deeds articles of incorporation of Neighborhood House the object of which is to carry on active social settlement work. The corporation is to be perpetual, and its scope will include the conduct of social clubs and classes, educational and industrial work, and the maintenance of playgrounds, gymnasiums and baths.

It is proposed to hold summer outings, and to investigate industrial conditions and social problems and promote individual, neighborhood, and municipal improvement.

The institution and maintenance of philanthropic enterprises and the development of volunteer personal service in such work is to be part of the plan of the corporation. Fourteen trustees are to manage the affairs of the institution for the first year.

Neighborhood house is located at 456 N street southwest, where it has been for the past five years. Articles of incorporation were filed several months ago, but, on account of some technical defect in the papers, it was decided to reincorporate. Mr. Sieman said last night neighborhood house has been incorporated because the enterprise may some time be left property, and it is desired to have a legally constituted body to take title.

 
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