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Girls With Guns: 1925

Girls With Guns: 1925

1925. "Girls' rifle team, University of Maryland." National Photo. View full size.


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Wrong school cited

This photo is a scene on the campus of the George Washington University, in Washington, Dc. It is not a view at the U. of Maryland.

[Confused? This is the University of Maryland rifle team, competing in Washington at GW. - Dave]

No Surprise

When my daughter started college, her dormitory floor's Resident Assistant held a floor meeting, and asked the residents what they'd done over the summer. The one that I remember was the one who was instructing riflery at West Point.

Firing Squad

They're not posing! Their hairdresser is tied up to a pole just off to the right of the photographer....

Where on campus?

I went to UMD - wish I could figure out where on the campus this was. It was after the big fire, so the buildings in the pic should still be there. Would love to see more of these around campus if there are some!

[This is probably in Washington. It's the same location as in this photo of the Drexel rifle team. The two teams met in March 1925 at George Washington University's Corcoran Hall rifle range. - Dave]

There's One!

"Girls, swing 'round! There goes one behind us!"

Girls Gone Rational

"Rationals" were a form of women's athletic clothing worn while taking part in outdoor sports. Most rationals were a combination of a skirt and bloomers (see the woman third from the right), but some were just bloomers (fourth from the right) -- the latter could also be known as simply knickerbockers, and were at first glance indistinguishable from them.

Like other forms of athletic wear of the time, they would not be worn as street clothing.

At this point, women of fashion are not wearing trousers for day wear quite yet. It'll another seven or eight years before Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, etc. begin to make trousers fashionable for all but women deliberately dressing as men.

She's just not that into you

This reminds me of a bad breakup I had in college.

You go girls!

This is one of my favorite pictures of late--especially in combination with stanton_square's articles. That poor defeated men's team--I wonder how long it took to live that down?

The third girl from the right looks like she's really enjoying the photo shoot. I bet they'd be an interesting group of ladies to hang out with. It looks like a few of them are wearing pants (especially the girl second from left), though possibly they could just be carefully arranged skirts. How big of a stir would wearing pants have made by this time? Or was it sort of accepted by this point?

New Wave

This is a great showcase for one fad of the 1920s and 30s -- marceled hair.

Bullet points

The girl on the left maybe doesn't want her picture taken. Hope the lens cap was bulletproof.

Better Than the Men

Note that the event where the "girls" out-shot the men occurred exactly 84 years ago today, February 10.

U. of M. Coeds Defeat Men in Rifle Match

Co-eds of the University of Maryland Proved themselves better marksmen than the male students at the institution in a rifle match Tuesday at College Park, according to a "post-mortem" examination of the score today.

The score showed the men had made a desperate effort to avoid defeat, registering 497 marks out of a possible 500. But the female of the species proved "more deadly than the male" with the rifle - at least the girls came off with a score of 499.

The campus yesterday was a dismal place so far as men were concerned. Vainly they tried to show resignation, or smile or treat the whole affair as an accident. It was hard to realize and acknowledge that girls had beaten them.

However, the vanquished team had forgotten that its triumphant adversaries had a reputation for marksmanship to preserve in the contest Tuesday. The reputation was won when the girls gained third place in the nation-wide intercollegiate competition last year, although it was only their second year of shooting at targets.

The five girls who made the best scores were Miss Thelma Winkjer, of Washington, captain of the team, who scored 100; Miss Helen Beyerle, of Baltimore, a former pupil at Western High school, 100; Miss Rebecca Willis, of Washington, 100; Miss Julie Louise Behring, of Washington, 100; and Miss Mary Harbaugh, of Washington, 99.

Washington Post, Feb 12, 1925

Girl's Sports Making Big Strides at Maryland University

The rifle team has established an enviable record at which both the girls' and men's teams in all schools will shoot for some time before equalling. Every match shot this year has been won by the College Park girls, including a shoulder to shoulder affair with the boy's team, and there is every reason to believe that they will finish the schedule without defeat.
The team has defeated the University of Washington and West Virginia, Agricultural College of Utah, University of Chicago and Drexel Institute in telegraphic matches. Those still to be shot are Syracuse university, universities of Arizona, Vermont, Illinois, Delaware, and Michigan Agricultural college.

The high scorers are the Misses Rebecca Willis, Anna Dorsey and Helen Beyerle. Team members are the Misses Thelma Winkjer, captain; Mary Harbaugh, manager; Betty Amos, Grace Coe, Anna Dorsey, Alma Essex, Julia Louise Behring, Mary Jane McCurdy, Rebecca Willis, Elizabeth Flennor and Helen Beyerle.


Washington Post, March 29, 1925

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