Beverly Jamieson. I’m a 21 year old college student from Richmond, Virginia. I come from a conservative, Catholic family and am the fourth of six siblings. My older brother was an officer during World War II. I came to Mary Washington College to earn my teaching degree and am currently engaged to my beau, Lt. Johnny Moran, a United States solider. I enjoy writing and reading and do my best to keep up with the latest fashions. My style icons are Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly.
OPTIONS FOR WOMEN:
1.) A fitted blouse is ideal for women. Sleeveless blouses were also popular.
2.) Full skirts and swing skirts that are knee high. Make sure the color of the skirt matches your top or is a neutral color.
3.) Shirt dress. These should have a top resembling a shirt with a gathered skirt.
4.) Trousers. In the 1950’s narrow pants became fashionable. Capri and bermuda-cut shorts are acceptable lengths for ladies. These should be worn with flat ballet-like shoes.
Floral patterns were extremely popular and all clothing is meant to fit well and obtain the ideal hour-glass figure that was envied during this decade.
OPTIONS FOR MEN:
1.) Fitted suits were in. These were worn with a narrow pant leg. Charcoal grey was a popular color. This type of suit was typically worn with a white shirt and plain tie.
2.) NO HATS! More men were driving cars.
3.) Shirts. Khaki and plaid shirts were most popular for students. Button -down oxford shirts with a collar were also worn often. T-shirts were not worn alone. Hawaiian shirts were worn in the summer, along with box shirts.
4.) Trousers. No jeans! These were meant for outdoor activities and teens. Instead, wear bermuda shorts and khaki pants.
Women were prone to bigger hair styles, but most men kept their hair short.
I was of course disappointed that my 1940’s group didn’t win, but we couldn’t have lost to a better page. I feel like the 1950’s group was able to put together a more successful picture of an actual classroom experience than any of the other decades. Their interview was very revealing and they found some of the best pictures. I think the best way to go about re-creating the classroom would be to have individual students dress as 1950’s students and take photographs of modern students imitating the pictures from 1950. It could also be really interesting if we had the help of the actual students from those years. They could pose as professors. I like the idea of mixing the two though. Another options is doing a photo-shoot for the 1950’s version and then having another group of students take it’s modern day equivalent so we can put them side by side. We should absolutely involve the theatre department. I love the idea of dressing in the decade’s attire. We should also re-create events outside the classroom, non-acedemics. Maybe events like dances? I think we could really re-capture the decade through our modern interpretation through photos. I’m excited to begin!
Picture One: An examination schedule from 1948
Picture Two: A layout of Mary Washington College’s Campus from 1946
Picture Three: A student drawn and inspired map out the campus from 1947
After three weeks of skimming the Bullet and printing out various articles of interest I finally had the time to sit down and finish my research. What surprised me the most about the Bullet from 1945 to 1949 is how much social social aspects were covered compared to class room interactions. Indeed, one of the first articles I read was “How High is Your Roommate Score?”. It’s direct quote states “One of the most important college courses isn’t listed in any catalogue, but it might be called ‘Living with a Roommate.” There were even articles dedicated to announcing social campus news, a big part of that being engagement announcements. It’s a big statement to what was important during those times, weddings as opposed to the current bullet mentioning students for earning scholarships and other rewards for academic excellence. According to a 1946 article the students of the time were expected to “be living life at its best and be stimulated toward clear thinking, high ideals, and wholesome, and gracious living”. While the college had a very clear idea on what their student should be I was also very impressed that it was also mentioned how “she is her own and man’s equal.” This gave me the sense that the women sitting in these classrooms had bigger aspirations than marriage. In other articles they continued to mention the ideal of “Today’s College Girl”. The college and its students seemed to be on the front line of promoting gender equality and they realized it started in the classroom. I feel like this is why I also ran across many articles talking about students visiting other colleges, discussing European methods, and adopting the systems of other colleges. The classroom seemed to be a place of great growth and change for the women of the 1940’s. For example, Mary Washington College adopted the semester system after studying other college classrooms in 1946. Overall, this week has made me so proud of the students and professors before me. In a time where the social scene prevailed, they created classrooms that promoted women and their learning. I’m ready to take what I’ve discovered and help my classmates create our website.
This week I began to look into the Bullet. I had never used an index system before so that was challenging. Luckily, Mrs. Parsons was there to help me every step of the way. I tried to select article titles that I felt would have the most to do with the classroom or students in general. Most of the articles focused on the social aspects of college life though, such as beauty contests, class elections, jitterbug contests, and dances. Some of the articles I did pull include “725 Students Enroll in College”, “Looking Ahead”, “Interesting Personalities”, “Agents Give Information on Class Doings”, and “Governor Darden signs Merger Bill”. Next week I’m going to skim through the articles entirely instead of trying to select articles based on their titles via the index system, because so far I’m not getting much information on classroom experiences specifically. This next week I will focus more on finding articles as well as finishing exploring the online archive of photographs from the 1940’s.
I am pleased to say that all members of my group were in attendance for Thursday’s class. We all were very excited while discussing how our website would be best set up. We’ve decided the domain name should be something simple so we entered it as “mwc1940s”. It’s simple and easy to remember. We wanted the site title to be really catchy though. Our brainstorming session led to “Books, Bonds, and Babes”. I love the title. I think it captures the decade perfectly. We have also decided to divide our website into five sections: Classes UMC students could take, War time experience and how it affected the classrooms, pictures from the 1940’s classroom compared to now, an interview page for a 1940’s graduate, and lastly an author’s page where we all have the chance to sum up our individual experiences during this project. I feel we all have a very clear idea of what it will take from our group partners and ourselves in order to achieve this website.
My two favorite articles that we read this week were “Black and White Visions of Welfare” by Linda Gordon and “Girl Reporter Derrring-Do” by Elizabeth Cochrane.
I liked the piece written by Gordon because it was interesting comparing the social programs that are offered in today’s society v. the welfare offered in the 1900’s like the Hull House. Gordon specifically focused on identifying the gaps between the black and white women groups of the time. She wrote how white women saw themselves as assisting others, including the blacks. Through this separation of class, the black women came to focus on issues that concerned only themselves. These women promoted great social change, a lot of which is still felt in the programs set up today. One can only imagine what they would’ve been able to accomplish if they weren’t divided by race and false perceptions of the other.
My second favorite piece was “Girl Reporter Derring-Do”. This is mostly because I was so fascinated by her journey. She was an incredibly headstrong young woman who without a chaperone (unheard of at the time) traveled around the world in seventy-two days. Being of college age I have begun to develop a very strong need to see the world around me. The fact that she accomplished the feat alone at twenty-five floored me. I wonder if she ever did compete against a man in an effort to be the fastest. She seems so strong-willed and I bet that alone would’ve ensured her victory.
After reading this week I have a renewed sense of what it was to be a woman growing up in a younger America. I’m inspired by the determination of young females that led to the weakening of male dominance in our society. It makes me want to be better, do more for my sex and all those who face social injustice.
Since I had limited time I wanted to use the most of my resources and decided to dive into the photo archives. All of the photographs are one’s that are not yet available to the public, but are waiting to be approved. I pulled photos that I felt really captured the essence of the time period. I only found one inside of a classroom, but I hope to find more once I start going through the library’s online collection. The first picture shows a sociology classroom. The second is a photograph taking inside the gymnasium in 1943. I saved the last three to observe a broader perspective of the 1940’s experience for a Mary Washington College Student. They show students collecting bonds, the Mary Washington front gates, and the class of 1942 all posing for a graduating class shot.
I have been assigned to research what the classroom was like during the 1940’s at Mary Washington College. In order to fully examine this decade my group has split our responsibilities concerning the project. I will be tasked with researching the Bullet from 1945 to 1949. I’ll also be helping a teammate, John, go through the school’s photographs spanning from 1940 to 1949.
I have already begun to extensively dive into the university’s photo collection. I was plesantly surprised to find that although more than 70 years have passed the Centennial Collection has over 100 photos. I believe having visuals to pair with our written research will have a vast impact on our reconstruction of the classroom. The photographs are all black and white and though some seem posed, they still lend to a better understanding of the classroom for a student of the time period.
I have not been able to spend as much time on the Bullet. The Bullet is kept in a microfilm format. In order to locate and examine these documents I will be having to use a card catalog in the library. From what I was able to read, social events seem to be the main focus. I’m not sure how much this will help me understand the classroom set-up yet.
I look forward to reserving more time in the library so that I am able to examine the archives more throughly, especially concerning the Bullet. With more time, I’ll have a better idea over what articles and photographs will best contribute to a deeper understanding of the 1940’s classroom for my group.