Here we have an elementary (primary school). We know the name was the Havelock School, but we do not yet know where it was located. This is a unique enough name yhat hopefully we will be able to locate the school. The way the children are dressed, we suspect it was a small town in a rural area because several of the children are wearing bib-overalls. We believe this swould be the most common in the South. The school is a very substantial brick building which suggests to us that it was in a town. It looks to be a fairly modern school, perhaps built in the 1930s or 40s.
Here we have an elementary (primary school). We know the name was the Havelock School. A reader believes that this is a middle-class suburban school. We might have thougt this having just looked at the girls. We do not think, however, that middle class parents would have sent their boys to school dressed in overalls, especially by the 1940s. Jeans yes, but not overalls. school
We were not sure where the school was located, but the school clothes (except for the overalls) seem quite typical of the country as a whole. There seem to be two possible locations. One is a small town in a rural area. Big city boys would probably not have worn bib overalls to school. Two is a new suburban school. Havelock is a unique enough name that hopefully we will be able to locate the school. We believe the bib-overalls swould be the most common in the South. The school is a very substantial brick building which suggests to us that it is located in a town. It looks to be a fairly modern school, perhaps built in the 1930s or 40s. We say this because of the color of the bricks. They do not look to be the traditional red bricks. It could be a suburban school in an area that still included some farms. Americans after World War II began to move into suburbs being carved out of rural areas. The properous times fillowing the war mean that most Americans could afford cars, goving them the mobility to move out of the cities.
A reader writes, "I have done a little research on the possible location of
Havelock School. I'm not sure but I believe this school is Havelock Elementary School, now located at 21 Cunningham Blvd. in Havelock, North Carolina, in Craven County near the East Coast of the state. This is a town of roughly 22,000 inhabitants and now the home of the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, usually referred to as the Naval Depot, which was established in 1940 close to the time of our photograph. It prepared soldiers for service in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. The area is important historically as having been involved in the Civil War Battle of New Bern (1862). A Union Brigadier General, Ambrose Burnside, embarked from Roanoke Island to rendezvous with Union gunboats at Hatteras inlet for a successful expedition against New Bern nearby on March 14, 1862. The town has historically been a middle class place with some rural elements, which would explain
the bib overalls of the children in the class."
We finally found just where the school is located, Lancaster County, Nebraska. I assume that in the County is a city named Havelock. e know nothing about the city, but assume that it was a town located in or near a rural are.
Here we see a fairly typical 4th or 5th grade class. The children seem to be about 10 or 11 years old.
This looks to be a class portrait taken in the latter 1940s. We say this in part because none of the boys are wearing knickers. The style of the sneakers the boys are wearing suggests to us, however, that it is not yet the 1950s. The large lapels of the boy's suits also seem to fit with the late 1940s.
There is considerable variety of dress especially among the boys. One boy is dressed in a suit with white collar and tie, but he is the exception. Several boys wear bib overalls, which were popular with mothers because they were washable and inexpensive. Most of the boys, however, wear dress slacks with open necked shirts, some with short sleeves, some with long sleeves (either fully extended of rolled up to the elbows). One notable feature is the wearing of clip-on elastic suspenders instead of belts. Suspenders were quite popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Many boys wore them with both short and long trousers because they kept pants from sagging and because they liked to wear the same sort of trousers support that their fathers were wearing during the same period. Suspenders were regarded as "cool" even though that term would not have been used in the 1940s. Most of the boys wear dress leather low-cut shoes but at least two boys wear sneakers. This class---represents a range of styles from formal to casual with several stages in between. The girls all seem to be wearing dresses rather than blouses and skirts. The girls mostly wear ankle socks. A decade earlier they would probably have been wearing long stockings.
A reader asks, "Are the knickers more of a statement of social class? If you review the Sears catalog vs. Best & Company, B. Altman or other more upscale catalogs it appears that children from more working class families stopped wearing
knickers sooner than children from wealthier families. The same can be said
for short pants suits a few decades later. So it may be hard to determine whether the school is in a poorer area or a later time period." I think our reader is correct that social class was a factor. I think, however, that knickers very rapidly disappeared for all classes in the early 40s.
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