Saturday, April 14, 2012
RPPC Real Photo Postcards U.S. SCHOOLS 1904-1918
In the early 1900s, American women had few career opportunities open to them. One area of employment that welcomed women was teaching. The teachers of the day frequently worked under harsh conditions in one-room schoolhouses that were only heated in the winter by a wood-burning stove. They also received extremely low wages - often staying in the home of a local family and eating at the family table as part of their pay. The white lettering on the image says, District No. 3, Grant Twp. Plymouth Co., Fay Garner, Teacher.
Real photo postcards of the time give us a glimpse into schools, classrooms, students and teachers of the time. Here is a selection of images on real photo postcards dating from1904 to 1918, an estimate based on the AZO stampboxes on these postcards.
Here are two photo postcards of teachers. On the back of the portrait on the left is handwritten Kathryn Snyder of Lewisburg, Teacher of Mt. Vernon school, Pa. The teacher in the classroom has a border of stars on the blackboard, and the writing on the board says Brant
No. 4 1891 - 1908. We can just see the bottom of a U.S. flag and a Regulator Clock over the blackboard.
In this classroom image, we see a large flag and the Regulator Clock that was traditional in American classrooms. This card was postmarked 1911 from Hannibal, Wisconsin. The white lettering on the image says Interior View of the Public School, Hannibal, Wis.
Some teachers, like the woman above, had large classrooms that included children of varying ages. Here we see boys sitting on the front row who are not wearing shoes. Children in rural areas sometimes could not afford shoes all year round, and only wore shoes in the winter.
This group of women, perhaps teachers, are sewing in a classroom. We can see the wooden seats with cast iron sides that spell out New Oxford. There is no location identified on this postcard.
Here's another group of women in a classroom, dressed in costume. The white lettering says Old Maid's Club. Teachers were not supposed to be married or to be involved in romantic relationships.
This is my favorite classroom picture - an unusual interior image of the children playing. The blackboard is covered with Teacher's writing including arithmetic problems and the expression Work while you work and Play while you play. Some of the little girls are wearing pinafores and some boys are in fancy suits. Absolutely charming, and very rare! This real photo postcard has a pencil note on the back that says Keota, IA and a notation that this was in David Wilson's Iowa collection.
PRICE ESTIMATES: Real photo postcards from this era of classrooms and of students posed outside the school with their teachers are common and inexpensive if unidentified. Expect to pay about $2 - $10 for each. Identified postcards cost more; rare images more still. The last image in this post of the children playing inside the classroom cost over $50. There are also photo postcards of graduating students in caps & gowns, college dormitory rooms with the walls covered in postcards and pennants, and college classrooms. These prices are for postcards in EXCELLENT condition, and they are only estimates.