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Space Cadets: 1905

Space Cadets: 1905

Circa 1905. Anyplace, USA. "Schoolboys." In spiffy foil uniforms. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
UPDATE: This is the Saints Peter and Paul Academy, 64 Parsons St., Detroit.


On Shorpy:
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Pirates of Penzance

I am an orphan King! A passel of Major Stanleys?

Jules Verne

It's possible that these boys were playing in a sci-fi epic from the great Mr. Verne.

We Are Not Men

We are the Casale brothers' grandfathers.

Shining Armor

Hasn't anyone ever heard of "knights in shining armor"? I wanted to make a foil suit like that when I was a tot in the early 60s, but my mom would only let me make it out of paper bags. Not so shiny. I had a rocking horse that was supposed to look western but I was much more impressed by thew movie "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" than I was by Roy Rogers.

Little Cuirassiers

That's what they look like.


Has the date been verified? 1905 doesn't seem likely based on the clothing style and the sheer quantity of the "foil". This looks more like mid-century to me, say 1940s to 1955 or so.

[Circa 1900-1905 is correct. - Dave]

Re: Has anyone considered

Now that that meme has been implanted, you have a point!

Captain: Top left
First Officer: Bottom, 2nd from left
Chief Engineer: Bottom, 3rd from right, next to his assistant, "Ears".

The rest look glum, but those three have that serious, "Our mission WILL succeed!" look!

The Who's Who

It would be so interesting to know the names of the young boys in this photo and especially where they went and what they became later on in life. Of course, it would be interesting to know just what was going on here.

Incredible Photo!

This photo is really more than 100 years old! My grandma was born in 1905.

Has anyone considered

Perhaps these are not earthlings. Perhaps they are not even children or whatever the young are called where they came from. Maybe their glum faces reflect their realization that when they boarded their saucer the night before, Ming "forgot" to tell them that not only was this a one-way trip, but the special, shiny uniforms issued just before blast-off, despite what Ming said, were not about to lure any female species up onto those unusual slabs of...of something very hard that mysteriously makes everyone in the back look taller than Mork and his engine-room crew up front.

Cradle to Grave

These boys look to have been born around the turn of the century.

This would have placed them at military age at the end of WW1, married and raising children during the depression, having their children serving in WW2, watching college ROTC buildings burned and race riots in the streets on TV in their sixties, and listening to disco playing from the boom boxes the care home nurses would bring in when they were around 80 years old.

What a fascinating era of American history they lived through.

Visions of Mars

By 1905 science fiction and space travel were well established genre for readers. Though his books were published after 1905, the space books of Edgar Rice Burroughs always featured swords.

Most Unusual

This is surely the oddest photograph I have ever seen on Shorpy. I suppose they might be dressed to play knights, but the hats don't fit for that. If this were 1950 they could be spacemen, but this is 1905. Any guesses?

Re: Ears to You

Looks like the kid on the far left is his wingman! Mine looked like that at that age, too, I'm afraid.


Space Cadets:1905
Laughing out loud.
A tip of the hat to the caption writer. You nailed it.


Foiled again!


Of the location, what were they thinking? Anti-radiation suits? in 1905? Against what? Really a mystery.

Things get big

This photo reminds me of a remark made by a friend who saw my Cub Scout den photo: "Well, your head got bigger but your ears are the same size."

Ears to You

Front row second from right.Yes, I know it's not nice but you gotta admit that is a fine pair.

Well Armed Space Cadets

Well, they all have swords anyway.

Could easily be

Anywhere USA, 2011. The faces and foils outfits of these boys look timeless. It does disturb me, though, that there is not a single smiling face.

Tinfoil Knights

Tin foil was common in 1905. However, judging from the facade of of this school (?), it was not the run of the mill PS 10. Perhaps the little knights were clad in the new aluminum foil which was not yet in mass production or even silver foil. The uniformity of their pants, hats and spiffy swords and belts implies a privileged background. Perhaps they are sons of lodge members posing on the lodge steps.

Precursor to the AFDB

These foil uniforms were quite a few years ahead of their time; it took several more decades for the full benefits of the Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie to be completely recognized.

Whoever can identify this school

Is my total Shorpy Hero.

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