Friday, September 3, 2010

Photo Database: Back to School

So after a long, hot summer, September is finally here, and it's time for many children to head back to school. If you were growing up in the Lower East Side 80 or 100 years ago, how was it different dusting off the old notebook and pencil and strapping on your school shoes? Our Photo Database held a few interesting answers.

Here's a group of students being led in the ”Pledge of Allegiance” by one of their classmates at a New York City public school. While one female student is pictured holding the American flag, her classmates are saluting her. The teachers of the class are pictured sitting by a chalkboard in the background:

Class pictures were often taken as they are today. Here's P.S. 188 on E. Houston Street, though this depicts an eighth-grade class graduating in January 1912, not starting the school year:

Here's the grammar school class photo (c. 1905) including Sam Jaffe, who was born in 97 Orchard Street in 1891 and eventually became an actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1951.

Looks like children in the past had at least a few, superficial similarities to today. Keep reading through the month to learn more about school and education in immigrant neighborhoods like the Lower East Side.

Best of luck to all of you heading back to school! I am heading back to school myself - thank you for reading this summer! [Editor: Thanks to intern Devin for working on the blog this summer! We're hiring a new volunteer blogging intern this fall, so email check our website for details if you're interested in applying.]

-posted by Devin

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