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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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Common Core: 1922

Common Core: 1922

Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Miss Tomlin's School, interior." Our third visit to the premises of this educational establishment, run by Miss Queenie Ada-Maye Tomlin. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Sharpen Those Pencils!

It is a silly thing to notice, but the thing that caught my eye was the mounted pencil sharpener. I remember those heavy-duty Boston sharpeners that lasted forever and would take a nuke to destroy. The ones in my high school in the 1990's were easily fifty years old. I'd like to find one for my house instead of those crummy electric ones or cheap plastic ones.

Miss Tomlin's Sheridan Park School

Born in DC. Lived at 35th and Q. Attended Sheridan Park School- then on Mass Ave. However, my father went to Miss Tomlin's. Knowing his love for the fairer sex, this could be him but alas, in 1922 he was only 2.

I also noted the eyesight problem in the front row. While at Sheridan School in 1955, teachers realized I needed glasses because I could not read the blackboard. Thank you Shorpy. Absolutely love these photos.

Back in the day... mother-in-law taught in a one-room school down in Kentucky. She would tell stories of the time spent with students on the correct way to write. My wife (who taught for 38 years) has the most beautiful writing I have ever seen and she taught my son the same way that she was taught. I myself am a calligrapher who was taught the same way as these children. Do it over until you get it right, and practice, practice, practice.

Re: Needs glasses

Looks more like she's asleep! Judging from the well-worn "sensible" shoes, she may have been up before dawn performing chores.

RE: second child from the left

Yes, that posture is very familiar, as I still read with my face only a few inches from the page. Bad habits develop when you continually "lose" your eyeglasses.

Lucky guy later on?

12 girls and 1 boy in that class!?

And I don't know about the penmanship thing. I have a 9 year old son and his scribbling... uhhh... penmanship... leaves a lot to be desired. All the teacher seems to ask of him is 'Please write so I can read it!'. I am quite sure penmanship is a thing of the past.

Love These School Pictures

I do love these vintage school pictures! I find it interesting that the students are faced away from the teacher's desk rather than toward it. It looks like they may not have had ample space for their student tables, however. In regard to OTY's observation on penmanship, you are correct, at least in Florida. I am in education here so I know that neither cursive writing nor how to tell time on an analog clock are no longer taught (in my district and the surrounding districts anyway) in the elementary grades, which is a shame.

Readin' and writin'

That's true. A young friend of mine has two grade school children. Cursive is no longer taught. For all practical purposes these dear little children can't write, and they hate to read. I suppose that in their future they will have only to speak into some electronic device, and that will suffice for writing.

Pencil-holding 101

The kids that are using pencils are actually holding them properly. We used to be drilled in how to hold a pencil for the best penmanship results and they are doing it correctly. Remember making pages and pages of the same letter in cursive until you got it accurately? I had trouble with capital "F's" and "W's" and lower case "r's". We even got graded on penmanship and some received awards (perhaps they became calligraphers). Also, the second child from the left seems to need glasses desperately. I'm told schools are no longer requiring handwriting in script or pencil-holding, but don't know if that is true.

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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