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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 NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Brooklyn Catholic School: c. 1910

Brooklyn Catholic School: c. 1910

This picture of Anna Maggi (far left side of room) was taken around 1910 in an unidentified Catholic school in the old Borough Hall section of Brooklyn, N.Y. On the classroom blackboard is written "Month of the Holy Souls" which would be November. View full size.

Modern Urban Educator

I am an educator in an urban school. My classes of 25 - 30 students are very challenging.

There seems to be an assumption that schools were better "in the good old days" and modern educators are not up to the task. Can one really assume that this classroom of children is better educated than a classroom of 25 today? Where all of these students expected to attend college or to pass a state mandated test? Are these girls read for an job market that isn't even identified yet? It's time we stopped assuming that our education (or in this case, our grandparents' education) is superior to a modern education simply because it worked for us.

Why nuns needed rulers

A quick rows-by-columns estimate counts 90 girls in that room! I'd guess the standers in the back usually sat in the empty section on the right, but moved to get into camera range.

And we worry today about a class size of 25.

Class Size

The class size seems to be similar to what I recall from Our Lady of Lourdes in Bethesda MD in the 50's - about 60 pupils. Today, "learning suffers" if class size exceeds 25, yet somehow we all emerged literate, numerate, and well disciplined.

 
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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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