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Eastern High: 1905

Washington, D.C., circa 1905. "Eastern High School football team." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.

Washington, D.C., circa 1905. "Eastern High School football team." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.


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That guy in the second row, second from the left, sure has a gleam in his eye! I'll bet he liked the girls, and vice-versa!

The Look

I used to think that people of earlier generations had radically different faces from today's people. but now I'm not so sure. Give those young men a change of clothes and a few tats and piercings, and they would blend right in.

Shorpe Diem

Anyone else thinking of the movie "Dead Poets Society"?

They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - -- Carpe -- hear it? -- Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

The Light Blue & White

This photo ran in the Washington Post on June 10, 1906 as part of a two page spread of class and team photos. Graduation exercises that year were scheduled on June 20th.

Eastern High's Captain

Leader for Football Team Will Not Be
Elected at Present

Eastern will be the last of the high schools to elect a captain. As there is some uncertainty as to the returning of one of the players, it has been decided to wait some time before choosing a leader for next season. The Capitol Hill eleven will lose heavily from graduation, but it is thought that from the regulars left over from this fall will be a strong nucleus to build a team to better the record made by the light Blue and White during the season just closed.

Capt. Field, whose work marked him as one of the starts of the High School League, will be missing, and to find some one to fill his old position will be one of the hardest tasks next year. The veterans who will be eligible to play next fall are Farmer, Titus, Pyles, Palmer, Tewksberry, Brown, Dodd, the Richardson brothers, Martin and Jones. During the season just closed Eastern was greatly handicapped by constant changes, no less than five coaches having charge of the players at different times, but next season with a more settled policy, it is expected that a stronger aggregation will be developed.

Washington Post, Dec 4, 1905

Stitch & Time

Wow. Now I know what to submit to my mother-in-law for my Christmas knitting wish list. Tthose are some excellent looking sweaters.

Questions: I have noticed that sometimes on these portraits there might be one or two blurred faces, does anyone know what the exposure time for a photo like this might have been?

Natural light with flash powder? Would glass negatives have had a ASA rating at that time?

[The ASA (American Standards Association) didn't exist in 1905. - Dave]


The two guys in front look more like ballerinas than football players. It seems that they are not wearing numbers on their uniforms yet. Years later when they begin to, they'll be numbered consecutively 1 through 17, as we learned in a previous Shorpy history lesson on glass.

Football Trophies

If he is proudly displaying two trophy livers knocked out of opponents, like scalps on a warrior's belt, that tall guy was one heck of a hard hitting football player. Too bad I can't sign him for my Detroit Lions.

Northern Exposure

A gorgeous portrait that reveals the natural light techniques of the studio photographer at the time. A pulley system operating individual blackout curtains for each pane of the window in order to adjust the light.

Must be a misprint

It's the drama club or chess team. If it were the football team, we'd see tribal tattoos, piercings, thuggish scowls, baggy t-shirts and shorts.

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