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Tots of Tripoli: 1946

Tots of Tripoli: 1946

March 1946. "Tripoli, Lebanon. American Mission Girls' School, the kindergarten in class." Medium format acetate negative, Matson Photo Service. View full size.


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Two Tripolis

There are two Tripolis. The one in Lebanon is called Tripoli while the one Libya is differentiated by adding "West" to its name such as Tripoli-west or Tripoli of the West (Trablus el Gharb in Arabic).

[There are many Tripolis. The word is Greek for "three cities." - Dave]

Turn on the heat already

Must have been a heck of a cold day, or that classroom must have had very poor heat, for so many of those kids to be wearing coats and sweaters indoors.

The floor also seems to have never met a janitor. And unless the other side of the room is filled with blocks and cars and paint easels, these kids get lousy playthings -- an abacus and that shelf of home-made looking fabric dolls.

I'm not sending any kids here!

Not quite sure what to make of this

The happy expression on the face of the pianist stands in stark contrast to the poker-faces of the children. The girl seated 7th from the right seems to be hinting at a smile, but the rest of them look like they are listening to an entirely different tune than the one she is playing. I've also noticed that the boy seated second from the right and the boy seated 6th from the left appear to be twins.

The Citizens of Tomorrow

There's a WWII-era poster hanging on the wall on the left.


I'm hot for teacher.

[Who's about to have you step up to the blackboard and write "Wow" a hundred times. - Dave]

More Obedient Five Year Olds

I realize that this was 65 years ago and these people would be approximately 70 yrs. old today but I doubt that you could make 21 children about 5 yrs. old sit quietly and behave like that now. Also, I remember when every school teacher had to have the ability to play the piano and lead their class in singing patriotic songs each morning. That also isn't happening today. Can't really say which era had the better daily routine but I'm partial to the olden days.

Prim and proper

The prim, cross-legged girl on the right reminds me a lot of my mom at that age. Prim and properness included! My dad was born the year this photo was taken - most of the kids are probably still around. I wonder how they feel about what's going on there today? The thought of mission schools always leaves me with a funny taste, but it seems as if this may be a fondly remembered time, especially now.

Any chance you can tell what the things hanging across the room are? I'd also love to know what the dolls on the shelf in the back are used for. And is that a light in the middle? Could it be any more woefully small for the room?

Did Tripoli move

from Libya to Lebanon and back?

[Tripoli, Lebanon, is where it's always been. - Dave]

[D'oh! - OP]

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