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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • NORTH TUSCANY COAST, 1948

The Belle of Annapolis: 1894

The Belle of Annapolis: 1894

Annapolis, Maryland. "U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1894." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Thirtyish

I put her at age 30, look at her hands. If so, she was born in 1864. At this time it was normal for "well brought up" girls to wear a boned bodice or corset from the age of 3 -- not tight, but an early intro of what was to come at age 12 or so. Yes, she has a small waist by our standards, but probably not a wasp waist by the norms of 1894. She was probably comfortable. And yes her dress is creased.

Joe Reeves

Yes, "that" Joe Reeves is one of the people in the class. My money is on the gentleman immediately behind and to our right of the belle. He is also considered one of the fathers of Naval Aviation, qualifying as an Aerial Observer at a rather late point in his career, so that he could command carrier forces.

Baseballers

The cadet in front of the door on our right is the baseball player on the left in the team photo. I believe the middie to our right of the young lady is the base-ball player on the right of the team photo.

Suffocating

No wonder she looks miserable. Take a look at how tightly cinched her corset is. If she could breathe in that thing, I'd be amazed.

Just think

Some of these men would have sailed with the Great White Fleet. Some would have server on the last of the pre-dreadnaughts, and some on the first of the dreadnaughts. If their career had been long enough, they'd have been in command of major naval ships during the War to End all Wars. At the far end of their career, they may even have commanded long enough to see the dawn of Naval Aviation.

From Monitors to Aircraft Carriers, these would have been the officers who would have seen them all.

Look! It's Winston Churchill!

Yep - the navy man, and future politician, author and amateur painter, was a member of this class.

I've Got A Secret

"My name is Joe Reeves and I invented the football helmet."

According to the website of the US Naval Academy, Midshipman Joseph Reeves (USNA 1894) invented the football helmet. Annapolis first played West Point in 1890.

One cracked belle

She doesn't seem overly enthusiastic, does she? One wonders if the Class of 1894 was big on personal hygiene.

Old wrinkles do die

Imagine how such wrinkled clothing would be regarded at today's Academy!

Ms X

I don't know who she is or what she's doing there but she doesn't look happy.

 
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