German Schoolwear: The School Book Bag or Sachel

Figure 1.--This German boy shows how the book satchell was worn. Both boys and girls wore it like this. This CDV was taken by Molsberger in Halle a Saale. (Many German towns had the same name and were differentiated by the rivers on which they were located.) The portrait is undated, but was probably taken in the 1900s.

One interesting aspect of bookbags is how children wear them. Primary school children, especially the younger ones wear their back pack book bags on their back with their arms through the shoulder loops. This is the case in America, Japan , and many other countries. Almost all German children wore their book satchels like this. Teenagers, both boys and girls, let the straps on backsacks free-floating. Many wore only one strap overa shoulder ort used one of the shoulder straps as a hand strap. There was another way to wear book satchels and back pacls. Others might wear one of the shoulder straps, but rarely both. This certainly is the trend in America, but we tahink it is a generalized pattern throughout Europe as well. We are not sure why this is. We suspect it may be because teemagers see wearing a back pack correctly is what little children do. Perhaps they preceive as a small act of rebellion or casualness, like wearing a baseball cap backwards or not tieing shoe laces, but in fact we do not know why this convention is so common among teenagers.


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Created: 8:25 PM 11/3/2010
Last updated: 8:26 PM 11/3/2010