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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

C Girls: 1910

C Girls: 1910

Washington, D.C., circa 1910. "Girls' basketball." The C might stand for Central High. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Ringed

>> I notice she (and three of the others, for that matter) are already engaged

Just because a girl is wearing a ring doesn't mean she's married or even engaged. I inherited a band from my grandmother, who was born in 1895. She said all the girls wore them in school. Then as now, girls like jewelry.

6 on 6

Women's basketball ("basquette") during that era was played using 6-person teams. As a result, either we're looking at just the starting lineup, or a full team that played without any substitutes.

Although 6 on 6 women's basketball had been on the decline for decades, it didn't disappear entirely until the early 1990's.

Here's my Venn diagram

First:

The Good Looking set are the two bookends. I Like the short one a lot, but also the girl on the left has a nice pair (pause) of good looking eyes!

Second:

The potential Good Players are the three on the left.

So the Intersection on my Venn Diagram only has the girl on the left. Someone needs to find her some tennis shoes that fit, though.

My mom...

... played basketball at Central HS in the 1940s. I still have her hightops.

Women's Rules

I was curious about how they actually play the game since I remember my high school girls' PE classes had a very strange set of rules. After a little google seaching I found this using "women's basketball history." Still wondering about these girls since it seems at least five versions of womens' rules were followed across the country then.

1901:
Rules: In an attempt to standardize rules, Luther Gulick and other leaders at an 1899 physical training meeting in Springfield appoint four women representing Smith, Oberlin, Radcliffe and Boston Normal School of Gymnastics. At the meeting to form a Women's Basket Ball Rules Committee to incorporate all modifications into one set of rules, with the health of the players the most important factor. Berenson heads the committee. It decides on [Senda]Berenson's original three-court rules (in which only certain players play offense), plus five to 10 players on a side.

Rules: First publication of official Basket Ball for Women by Spalding Athletic Library, A.G. Spalding with Senda Berenson as editor. Court is split into 3 equal zones with between 5-10 women on each side. No snatching or batting of ball. Holding the ball for more than 3 seconds was a foul. Only three dribbles before a shot or pass. However, Baer's rules and men's rules continue to be used. As late as 1914, one half to two thirds of women were playing by men's rules, while the others were playing by at least five different versions of women's rules.

Do re mi

You just don't often see such a perfect cross-section of descending height. Wonder how they managed to get six women who are all about an inch and a half shorter than the next.

They look so perfect I can't imagine them throwing elbows and getting fouls.

These girls

Have such wholesome faces.

Interesting

They look like young versions of the elderly ladies I grew up knowing when I was a kid in the 60s and early 70s (which is what they would be, actually, though these would have been the 70-80 year old ones).

That is, all except the second girl from the right... WOWZA! She's cute. Something about her eyes, I think, but she'd be cute in any era, and probably at any age. I notice she (and three of the others, for that matter) are already engaged, though.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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