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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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20 Handsome Girls: 1904

20 Handsome Girls: 1904

1904. "Boys' High School, Philadelphia." Our titillating title comes from the Star Burlesquers billboard far right. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

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Miss Bob White

On 24 March 1904 the Cornell Daily Sun gave Miss Bob White an All American review.

"Miss Bob White" Saturday.

"Miss Rob White" Willard Spencer's successful pastoral comedy opera is perhaps the sole example of a work of that kind that ii thoroughly and exclusively American, not oniy as it regards its authorship and production but in theme, treatment and cast.

It is thoroughly saturated with the Spirit of the Stnrs and Stripes. Its great success therefore surrounds Mr. Spencer with quite an atmosphere of patriotism.


It would be nice to know the school's location. As far as I know, it no longer exists. Any info would be appreciated.

[A commenter below has identified it as Broad and Green Sts. -tterrace]

Just down the street

From the Baldwin Locomotive Works. I thought that observatory rang a bell.

Observatory atop the tower

In the 1922 Handbook of the school the opening photograph of the building from the Broad Street side (but from a different angle) shows that the dome atop the center tower is not decorative, but served as an observatory. The Handbook also reports that the observatory's original fifteen-inch telescope was ruined (along with most of the tower's apparatus) in a "disastrous fire on March 9, 1905," and a complete rehabilitation of the observatory had yet to occur.

Broad and Green St.

A search shows it was at Broad and Green St. and was torn down in 1961. The dome contained a 15 inch telescope.

What a place to explore. I wonder what the students thought of it.

Gender segregation

As high schools became commonplace in public education, there were separate facilities for boys and girls.

As a youngster entering junior high school in Baltimore, during the late 1950s, I was surprised to find boys and girls were separated in classrooms (boys on one side, girls on the other) and while moving between classes. Perhaps this was due to boys and girls becoming "interested" in one another. The school had separate gym facilities for the sexes.

That Funky Streetlight !

The funky streetlight in the left foreground must be some sort of an arc lamp. It has a counterbalanced arm for lowering the lamp so that the carbons can be adjusted or maintained. The old-time arc lights required a lot more maintenance than an incandescent lamp.

Bob White - Quail Song

When the leaves are falling
And the quail are calling
Bob White! Bob White!

Steady, Don - no flushing!
Hold, there! Don - you're rushing!
Bob White! Bob White!

Bang! Bang! Shots are ringing
At the covey springing
Bob White! Bob White!

Come ere the sunshine has kissed off the dew
Of the scent laying morn with it's bright Autumn hue
Bob White my first love, to thee I'd be true
Ah! little quail, I love you.

Miss Bob White: An Original American Pastoral Comedy Opera in Three Acts
By Willard Spenser

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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