This is a Catholic school where photographs were taken during World War I. There are of course quite a number of St. Anthony schools in America. It appears to be an all boys' school, at least the boys were photographed separately. This was not common at Catholic primary schools which were normally coed. St. Anthony is located in St. Louis, Missouri. One photograph was taken in the Spring when the younger boys were doing their First Communion. The older boys may be doing their Confirmation. The second photograph shows the boys patriotically dressed in a variety of military uniforms. We assume that this was taken after America entered the War (April 1917).
This is a Catholic school where photographs were taken during World War I. We know the name of the school is St. Anthony and the fact that there is such a formal First Communion ceremony suggests to us that the school is Catholic. There are of course quite a number of St. Anthony schools in America. It appears to be an all boys' school, at least the boys were photographed separately. This was not common at Catholic primary schools which were normally coed. We are in part guessing that this is a school. Another possibility is that it is a Church and the children here are in Subday school classes.
There are many St. Anthony schools and churches in America. Fortunately we know where the photograph was taken--St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis is located on the Mississippi River and in the 19th century was the jumping off poit or many wagon trains heading west. This photograph was taken several years after the 1904 World's Fair, The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, which was heald in St. Louis.
One photograph was taken in the Spring when the younger boys were doing their First Communion. The older boys may be doing their Confirmation. The younger boys in the front row are clearly doing their first communion. They wear a variety of fancy white blouses witha variety of collars. One boy wears a crisp Eton collar. They wear various types of bows. The whiteness of these outfits makes it difficult to make out the details. They are holding flowers. They also wear white kneepants and white long stockings for the event. The older boys look to us like they are doing their Confirmation. They wear dark suits, most with white ties. We suspect that many are knerepants or knicker suits, but some of the boys may be wearing long pants as well. The older boys have buronaires instead of flower bouquets like the younger boys. One boy definitely looks to be wearing kneepants and black long stockings. The photograph is a good example of American dress boys wear in 1917. Also notice the hair styles.
The second photograph shows the boys patriotically dressed in a variety of military uniforms. We see army and navy uniforms. The Boy Scout uniform was very similar to the army uniform. It is likely that many of thevboys here in army uniforms are Scouts. There are also several iniforms that are a little more imaginative. Notice Uncle Sam in the middle of the group. We assume that this was taken after America entered the War (April 1917). After America entered the War that was a tremendous outpouring of patriotic fervor. The photograph here is on aspect of that feeling.
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