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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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Girls' High School: 1906

Girls' High School: 1906

Knoxville, Tennessee, circa 1906. "Girls' High School." Note the spiral-staircase fire escape. Oh, and look at the time! 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.

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Union Avenue just west of Market Square

The Girls' High School was designed by the architect Joseph F. Baumann. 1906 would have been the school's 20th anniversary. But for such a young building, it already seems to have an air of neglect. The school closed four years later when the coeducational Knoxville High School was built.

Technology ahead of its "time"

I was unaware they had digital clocks in aught 6.


Indeed, look at the time! The seniors have evidently painted the year on the clock face, somehow, in spite of the kind of clothes they had to wear in that time period. That's even scarier than descending the fire escape. It's a miracle no one fell the 5 stories to her certain death.

Girls can do pranks too. Management had a tough time controlling them even though they could beat an unruly student in those days.

Hems and heels

It's hard to imagine a gaggle of panicked people in ankle length skirts and button-up boots making it down that staircase without tripping on each other and going down like dominoes. Gotta assume they were more skilled in descending steps in a long dress and heels than I am.

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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