Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mystery Photo: A Kindergarten Class ca. 1947

We have had so much trouble identifying these children that we sometimes wonder if the photograph was actually taken in some other town. We know nothing about the photograph, and we are only guessing that it is a kindergarten class from the late 1940s. Do you recognize any one of these ladies and gentlemen? Does the classroom look familiar?

If you don’t know, but are curious about the answers, come back to the blog and check this post. We’ll attach comments with any information we receive.
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  1. If this was taken in 1947 you can rule out St. Matthew's old school as they had a dress code,unlike these kids. Next, look at the setting. Usually class photos are more formal, either taken outside the building or in the classroom, and students sitting in their desks or along the wall showing the desks. This one looks like it was taken in a gymnasium with no desks. It may not be a class photo at all.

    Just look at the background. You can see a makeshift little house with a doorway, bushes or perhaps a small tree to the left and two pigs in front. Some kind of farm play.

    My opinion is that 24 kids could be a small class, but this has to be a photo of participants in a school play. The kids are dressed in warm weather clothes (probably spring). Besides they look older than kindergarten, perhaps even second grade to fourth grade.

    St. Matts didn't have a gym. The Farragut School had one with a wooden floor like this one. The lighting appears to be higher up the wall than usual with no hanging lights, so I believe that this was taken in the old Farragut gymnasium that had windows for daylight almost at the ceiling.

    I hope my observations help. Bob Russell

  2. Thanks, Bob! You do have a great eye for these things. Now that you mention it, it sure does look like a play. Maybe that is why so many of them have their mouths open! They almost look like they might be singing.

  3. Bill Ewen has just told us he thinks that he himself is "the shrimp in the rear left with the bib overalls." He thinks it was probably taken in 1946 and he's collecting some more names for us! Thanks, Bill!

  4. I think that's me behind the pig! I also think from talking to her that it's Maureen
    Ryan up in the back toward the left door. Eddie Cronell (or maybe Eddie Uprichard0 is on the far right looking at the picture. Probably we were in kindergarten in 1946 or 1st grade in 1947, because I know I started school in Sept. 1946 when I was only 4 yrs. old, because I was born in Dec. 1941. Bill Borowitz

  5. Thanks, Bill No. 2! It's great to have more identifications. Anyone else???

  6. Bill Ewen has written to us with more names!

    "Back row very left, Larry Bliss (his father Burton published the Hastings News); next to him is me; to the right of me is Nancy Nitray; standing in front of the door is Maureen Ryan, she grew up in the observatory cottage; next to her is Inez Carling; three to the right with the dark hair is Isabelle Neely; to her right is Jeannie Young. Second row L-R, on the left is Maureen Flynn; two to the right of her is Joe Nitray, twin of Nancy. Front row, the boy sitting on the floor between the two "pigs" is Jim Charleton; to his right with the dark sweater is Bill Borowitz."

    Great work, Bill!

  7. And a comment left on the Flickr site adds this: "In the back on the right side with a white blouse and striped skirt is a girl who looks like I think Lynn Smith would have looked at that age. I didn't moved to Hastings until sixth grade, but we were graduated in 1958."

  8. Wow, you are lucky that you have picture of your kindergarden. I always look for my school photos but sadly never found them. Good post, thanks for sharing it