U.S. Schools: Calvert School (1897- )

Calvert School
Figure--This class portrait was taken at the Calvert School in Baltimore. It is indated, but from the clothing we can tell it was taken at the turn of the 20th century, probably around 1900-05. It has been colorized. Notice the sailor suits with bloomer knickers and the Norfolk suits with knee pants. The yellow suit of the boy in front seems to be the wrong color, although there seem to have been yellow tunic suits. We would guess it might have been light blue or some other pale shade, possibly ecru or beige. The long black stockings were standard for the decade of course, but by 1910 many boys were wearing knickers. Click on the image for a discussion of color.

The Calvert School in Baltimore is probably the most famous elementary (primary) school in America. The school was a kindergarten through 8th grade coeducational school located in Baltimore, Maryland. Elementary schools for grades 1-8 were fairly standard t the turn of the 20th century in rural areas. Schools wih grades 1-6 were more standard in cities. The addotionl Kindergarten was a innovation. The school was founded in 1897. The school developed a homeschooling division which has made the curricvulum available to home schoolers around the country. Virgil Hillyer, a Harvard-trained scholar, became the Head Master of the School. He decided to sell the curriculum developed at the school through a Baltimore bookstore. The idea of home school was not as developed as it is now. People at the time had more confidence in the public schools. Many mothers, however, were interested in preparing their children for 1st grade. Kindergartens were just beginning to appear. Thus the Schools Kindergarden curriculum proved very popular. The popularity of the curriulum developed after advertising in the National Geographic magazine. The original cost of the curriulum was $5.00. This class portrait was taken at the Camvert School in Baltimore. It is indated, but from the clothing we can tell it was taken at the turn of the 20th century, probably around 1900-05. For some reasoon only one girl is in the group. Presumably it is a class group. It was a small class, not unusual or a private school. An unusual number of boys are wearing sailor siuits, we suspect a social class indicator. It has been colorized. Notice the sailor suits with bloomer knickers and the Norfolk suits with knee pants. The yellow suit of the boy in front seems to be the wrong color, although there seem to have been yellow tunic suits. We would guess it might have been light blue or some other pale shade, possibly ecru or beige. The long black stockings were standard for the decade of course, but by 1910 many boys were wearing knickers. The colorization is interesting. It seems unlikely that the pgotographer would have bothered to note the colors involved. It was probably ordered by the mother of one of the boys. She would hasve been unlikely to know what all the children wore, except for her son.









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Created: 9:45 PM 2/3/2010
Last updated: 9:45 PM 2/3/2010