U.S. School Clothes: Racine College


Figure 1.--Racine College was founded as a tertiry-level institution in 1851. By the turn of the 20th century, the school had evolved into a military oriented preparatory school--the Racine College Grammar School. Notice that the boys all have bottlesof milk. This photograpgh was proably taken about 1905-10. Hopefully car buffs can tell us more. This photograph illustrates the extent to which America had devekoped as an industrial power. Even school boys had cars. You would not have seen this anywhere in Europe.

The Protestant Episcopal Church established a college at Racine, Wisconsin in 1852--Racine College. There was a grammar school associated with the College and may have even preceeded it. Racine College functioned as a college in the sence of a small university for 40 years in the 19th century. It subsequently became a preparatory school with both secondary and older primary-age boys--the Racine College Grammar School. We are not sure about the nature of the original grammar school, but by the turn-of-the 20th century it was not a grammar school in the normal sence that the term is used in America--that of a primary school. The Racine school was more like a British grammar school in the sence of a secondary, but with entry at about 11-12 years of age. I am noyt sure what age the Racine College Grammar School accepted, but we see quite young boys as well as younger teenagers. ike the College, the Grammar School was a boarding school. We note boys wearing military uniforms in the early 1900s, but we also see them wearing suits so we are not sure what the dress code was. This prep school finally evolved into a military school. It closed in 19??. The buildings are now used as a community center.

Episcopal Church

The Episcopal or Episopalian Church was the name of the English Anglican Church in England. The Anglican Church was founded by King Henry VIII in his efforts to divorce his wife, the Spanish Princess Catherine, so he could marry the beautiful and young Ann Bolen. Hardly the most inspiring creation for what was to become a great Church. Another reason was finaces. Henry was concerned about English Church wealth being sent to Rome which supported Spain which with its large fleet was a threat to England. Anglican churches exist in all of the former British colonies. As many of the English colonists were Anglicans, the Episopalian Church became very important. Many of the American upper-class were Episopalians. The head of the Anglican Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury, although his authority is in no way comparable to the pope. The Anglican Church with its priests and formal ritual is the Protestant denomination closest to that of the Roman Catholic Church.

Racine College

The Protestant Episcopal Church established a college at Racine, Wisconsin in 1852--Racine College. There was a grammar school associated with the College and may have even preceeded it. Racine College functioned as a college in the sence of a small university for 40 years in the 19th century. The modern American university system was still not well developed in the 19th century. Many Americans desiring advanced studies that had the necessary funds went to Europe and studied in the prestigious universities there. A number of small collebes like this were founded, often with the backing of a church, as was the case with Racine College. Many of these colleges was quite small. Even the state universities wererelatively small. Racine College, for example, played football with the University of Michigan.

Racine College Gramar School

Racine College subsequently became a preparatory school with both secondary and older primary-age boys--the Racine College Grammar School. The grammar school appears to have existed from the earliest years of the College. We are not sure about the nature of the orgiginal grammar school, but by the turn-of-the 20th century it was not a grammar school in the normal sence that the term is used in America--that of a primary school. The Racine school was more like a British grammar school in the sence of a secondary, but with entry at about 11-12 years of age. I am noyt sure what age the Racine College Grammar School accepted, but we see quite young boys as well as younger teenagers. ike the College, the Grammar School was a boarding school. We note boys wearing military uniforms in the early 1900s, but we also see them wearing suits so we are not sure what the dress code was. This prep school finally evolved into a military school. It closed in 19??. The buildings are now used as a community center.

Military Schools

Many American schools were founded in the 19th centuries. Here we are not referring to the military academies. Rather these were schools for school age boys. Most were for secondary age-boys, but there were schools for younger boys as well. Many well-to-do American parents who had no intention of dorecting their boys into military careers, seem to have thought that military schools offered badly needed discipline. This is interesting, because there was no similar trend in Europe. Private schools in Europe were not generally organized along military lines. Britain had a few charity schools that were. And Austria and Germany had cadet schools that began the training of military officers. American military schools were not primarily set up to train military officers. In fact, while America had more military schools than all of Europe combined, it only a very small military. Europe in the early 20th century was involved in a massive arms race inwhich the United States did not participate. (One of the reasons that many Europeans immigrated to America was the conscription system in the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. As a result, when World War I began, the United States had virtuall no army.








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Created: 10:47 PM 1/19/2008
Last updated: 10:47 PM 1/19/2008