This vintage photograph is a class portrait of children from the Avondale School in Nova Scotia, Canada. The image has unusually great clarity. I suggest that the viewer magnifies the image and carefully look at the children’s expressions, their hairstyles,  and at their attire. This photograph really gives the observer an up close look at turn of the century school children. Note the two boys at the end of the first row. They are holding up signs identifying their school and the date (1898). The teacher sits in a chair, hands on his lap, and looking relaxed. I wonder how common male school teachers were during this era. Two of the girls are wearing identical dresses (same pattern). My guess is that they are sisters and their mother made the dresses. This is an exceptional example of a more than a century old class picture.

Published in: on January 24, 2015 at 11:41 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t know about male teachers in Nova Scotia, but a number of my male ancestors were school teachers in western Pennsylvania in the later 1800s and the 1900s.

  2. So different from class photos of recent decades in which most of the children are smiling. Perhaps the children were told not to smile, due to longer exposure times necessary for the photographic plate in those days? If so, I notice that the boy in second row, extreme right, one seat away from teacher, chose to display an impish grin. Was he simply being rebellious, or unable to restrain a genuinely happy disposition? Interesting that he is the only individual in the entire group who is smiling, while some are actually scowling! The older students in the top row appear particularly somber. The little blonde girl in the white dress, middle of bottom row, seemed unable to sit still, her face is blurred. Also, notice that the two boys who hold the signs have bare feet–sad to reflect that this may not have been by choice, due to warm August weather; it may have been that they did not own any shoes. A fascinating photo which invites speculation by the viewer.

  3. do you know the name of these students?

    • Unfortunately, the students in the photograph are unidentified.

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