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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Friends Girls: 1920

Friends Girls: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Friends Select School basketball team." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Friends Select Today

This school is now known as Sidwell Friends. It's where the Obama girls go to school. It is not affiliated with the Quakers in a formal sense, but it does have Quaker roots and philosophy. See

Old Friends

This is the school now known as Sidwell Friends. According to the school's history page, the "Friends' Select School" name was changed to just "Friends' School" as early as 1906. "Sidwells' Friends School" was used in some contexts until the death of Mrs. Sidwell in 1934, and the school was reorganized as "The Sidwell Friends School" at that time and remains so.

The school has some historic photos available online, though none are presented in resolutions similar to Shorpy. One picture in particular seems to include some of the same people as in this image.

More Girls!

Thanks for the change of pace.

Very nice to see some people/girls for a change. It's fun to see their clothing and the hair styles of the period.

All those buildings and vehicles get to be a little boring after a while.

The only long-hair

The third girl from the right is the only one with long hair (notice the bow) and I reckon she would have been a very pretty young lady with her hair let down.


All are wearing the same footwear, but two left their good leggings at home.

Height Order

I think the girl who is third from the right is a smidgen taller than the girl to her left.

Must Be the Socks

I'd sweat too if I had to wear 'em!

No Socks Appeal

Identical uniforms and shoes. Identical socks? Not so much.


Quite the bloomer uniforms! And I hope they trimmed the edges of the photo if they put this in the yearbook - the junk on the floor is embarrassing.

I think they are all cute, though. This is the year my mother was born (Cue the Beatles song, "Your Mother Shoud Know"!)

Lots of links online about Friends Select in Philadelphia.

Basketball Regalia

White Middy blouses with dark ties and School Logo, dark bloomers and high top white sneakers. Hosiery patterns and colors optional.

Probably not sowing their oats

Are these affiliated with the Quaker friends? Very "progressive" even back then...


I always find it amazing how alike many of the ladies look to our ladies of today yet how different they look. It seems that there was much more of an ethnic look to people back then than today.

That being said, the 3rd from the right...Yowzaa!! A close second is the 3rd from the left.

Good to see..

that girls were involved in sports. However, is it just me, or do these girls look a lot older than high schoolers. At any rate, great to see and loved the pic!


What kind of mascot would the 'Friends Select School' basketball team have...someone dressed in a 'Hello Kitty' costume?


A careful study of the girl's clothing reveals that there wasn't much uniformity to their uniforms.
There are at least 4 different styles of sleeve on their middy blouses, entirely different socks, and every girl ties her neckerchief differently.
As for those bizarre bloomers, I'm not sure what to say about THEM.

Cavalcade of Stars

The one on the far right looks like Barry Manilow; the one second from the left resembles Al Pacino.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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