U.S. School Activities: Walking to School--20th Chronology

Figure 1.--Here a NewbYork City police crossing guard teaches school children about traffic safety and crossing with the lights. The photograph was not dated, but was the corduroy knickers and knee socks clearly date it to the 1930s.

There are 19th century class portraits at school, but very few images of the children on their way to school. This changes with the development od the simplified, amateur snapshot at the turn-of-the 20th century. Suddenly we have countless photographs of school children. Today we have this image of rural boys dressed in overalls walking to school. In fact, the overalls did not become common in rural schools until about 1910. And soon after the dynamic of walking long distances to school began to change. Henry Ford's assembly-line Model-T soon lead to trucks and World War I greatly expanded the use of trucks. After the War, school busses began to appear in America and were an increasinly important fact (1930s). This enabled the restructuring of rural education. School busses appeared that could inexpensively transport large number of children considerable distances to school. By the 1920s and 30s corduroy knickers were common. Striped "T"-shirts and jeans were very common in elementary schools. This was common school clothes at the times. American children before World War II mosly walked to school. After World War II, most one room schools were closed or in tghe process of bing closed. Fleets of busses brought rural childten to larger consolidated schools in towns. And with the post-War move to he suburbs, by\usses were needed there as well. Many American children still walk to school, especially primary children. This is because primary (elementary schools) are relatively small and located in residential neigborhoods. Most secondary students, however, ride busses because the schools are larger with more expansive catchment areas.


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Created: 2:20 AM 2/25/2019
Last updated: 2:20 AM 2/25/2019