U.S. School Clothes: Abbeville School (South Carolina)


Figure 1.--Almost all of the girls wear dresses, but one of the third grade girls is a bit ahead of her times wears pants. Going to school in the 1940s and 50s, I don't recall girls wearing pants. In the photo of 3rd grade class there are some older pupils mixed in with the younger children. I am not sure why.

We have found portraits from an elementary (primary) school in Abbeville, South Carolina. We don't have the name of the school yet. Abbeville is not a large city, but there were probably more than one school. The portraits we have found so far are from the 1940s. Many of the younger boys wear short pants and are barefoot. Notice only the boys are barefoot. There are a range of shirts, including t-shirts. One boys wears a suit. I don't know why he is so dressed up. Almost all of the girls wear dresses, but one of the third grade girls is a bit ahead of her times wears pants. Going to school in the 1940s and 50s, I don't recall girls wearing pants. In the photo of 3rd grade class there are some older pupils mixed in wuth the younger children. I am not sure why.

Abbeville

Abbeville is the county seat of Abbeville County. The County was one of five counties carved out of the old Ninety Six District (1785). The town was built on land that once belonged to Revolutionary War Leader Andrew Pickens. John C. Calhoun, perhaps the most notable South Carolinian, began his political career in Abbeville. Calhoun became the most prominant spokesman for the South in the years before the Civil War. Antebellum Abbeville was one of the most prosperous towns in the South Carolina upcountry. The first branch of the Bank of the State of South Carolina was opened in Abbeville just before the outbreak of the Civil War.There is an elegant Opera House on a tree shaded town square. The Confederate Council of War met at the Burt-Stark House,. The old Trinity Church noted for its Gothic Revival architecture was built in 1860.

The School

We have found portraits from an elementary (primary) school in Abbeville, South Carolina. We don't have the name of the school yet. Abbeville is not a large city, but there were probably more than one school. This school was a substantial red brick school which we can see in the 3rd grade portrait.

The 1940s

The portraits we have found so far are from the 1940s. Many of the younger boys in 1st grade wear short pants and are barefoot. Notice only the boys are barefoot. There are a range of shirts, including t-shirts. One boys wears a suit. I don't know why he is so dressed up. Almost all of the girls wear dresses, but one of the third grade girls is a bit ahead of her times wears pants. Going to school in the 1940s and 50s, I don't recall girls wearing pants. In the photo of 3rd grade class there are some older pupils mixed in with the younger children. I am not sure why.

1st Grade

First grade children would be 6-7 years old. This portrair was made in 1946-47 right after World War II. Many of the boys in 1st grade wear short pants and are barefoot. Notice only the boys are barefoot. There are a range of shirts, including t-shirts. Most of the boys wear short sleeves, but one boy has a long sleeve "T"-shirt with abog-collared shirt under it. One boys wears a suit. I don't know why he is so dressed up. I don't ever recall a boy wearing a suit in my First Grade cklass during 1949-50. Note that we don't see a lot of boys with real short hair cuts like flat tops and buzz cuts yet, styles that were very popular in the 1950s. The girls all wear dresses with various footwear, including saddle shoes, strap shoes, and sandals.

3rd Grade

Third grade children would be 8-9 years old. This portrair was made in 1948-49. Most of the boys are in back rows. We see boys wearing "t"-shorts and collared shirts with both short and long pants. One boy wears shorts and is barefoot. Almost all of the girls wear dresses, but one of the third grade girls is a bit ahead of her times wears pants. Interestingly she is front and center in the photograph. Going to school in the 1940s and 50s, I don't recall girls wearing pants. In the photo of 3rd grade class there are some older pupils mixed in with the younger children. I am not sure why.









HBC





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Created: 3:07 AM 12/26/2007
Last updated: 3:07 AM 12/26/2007