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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hoops Hotties: 1912

Hoops Hotties: 1912

Washington, D.C. "Madeira School group." The Class of 1912 had that Gibson Girl thang goin' on. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Contemporary gal

I noticed 3rd from the left as well -- she could have been from last year as easily as from 1912.


Actually, in today's Navy, she would be a QM1, Quartermaster First Class. E-6 is the pay grade.

Middy blouses and bloomers

The girls aren't wearing jumpers, they're wearing middy blouses and bloomers.

Middy blouses were the standard-issue gym wear of girls from the aughts through the twenties. I presume "middy" is short for "midshipman" since they are clearly sailor-inspired.

Girls playing basketball?

Why that's positively progressive, if the first and third volumes of The Girls Of Central High (1914) are any indication.

A healthy interest in the sports allowed by the Girls' Branch would aid in keeping the girls themselves from a more questionable use of their spare time. It was much more healthful and much more wise for them to take part in sports and exercises calculated to build up muscle and mind, than to parade the streets in couples, or cliques, or to attend picture shows, or to idle their time through the big stores in emulation of the adult "shopping-fiend." As boys are made more manly by physical exercise and sports, so girls can be made more womanly by them. A healthy girlhood is the finest preparation obtainable for the higher duties of life. As Dr. Agnew, Nellie's father, was fond of saying: "I don't care how much of a bookworm a girl is, if she swings a pair of two and a half-pound Indian clubs, she'll come out all right!"

Time Machine Wanted

The fourth from the right went right by me until I zoomed in. What a beautiful girl!


Interesting choice, those jumpers, which look positively U.S. Navy. The young lady second from the right appears to be a first-class petty officer quartermaster (E-6 in today's system).

Missing equipment

I think Miss Contemporary simply Miss-placed her hairnet.

re: Plow Woman?

Tom, I do so much appreciate your sharing. It's memories like these that make the comments so entertaining.

Writing styles

I'm always fascinated by the way handwriting has changed over the years. The person who marked the ball in this photo took the little extra time to put some loops and flourishes on the 12. Nowadays people don't even take the time to write legibly on a legal document, much less a basketball.

Nothing but net!

How brilliant to wear a hair net to protect the "do" while playing.

Miss Contemporary

The hair of the third girl from the left kind of separates her from the other girls who have the style of the the day.

Vassar Bound

Miss Madeira's School

1380 Nineteenth Street
A Boarding and Day School for Girls
Certificate admits to Vassar, Wellesley and Smith.

Third from the right...

Positively gorgeous!

Plow Woman?

The second from the right looks remarkably like my maternal grandmother -- until you get down to her calves.

She grew up on a medium-sized farm and plowed, plowed, plowed, developing huge, German plow-woman legs. They wouldn't look good on a pool table even if it were in a cave with heavy curtains.

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