Friday, 16 November 2012

Sepia Saturday - Classy pictures

This week's theme picture tries to steer us in the direction of boys, libraries and/or books. With a little fantasy subjects such as old buildings and central heatings come to mind. I can't connect any of these notions to any of the numerous photo's stored -literally- in my shoe box archive. Apparently I suffer from subconscious Sepia Saturday thoughts during nighttime. Because when I woke up this morning the word 'education' popped up and I had to think about a number of old school photo's I have. And old school photo's by definition have been taken in old buildings. With a sigh of relief I got out of bed and started this post. I have to be honest here, I had breakfast first. Just in case you would worry about that.
Orie Loosduinen
Nicolaas Orie (1897-1977) bottom row, third from the left
This picture shows my wife's paternal grandfather Nicolaas Orie in grammar school. He was born in the village of Loosduinen near The Hague. We estimate that he is about 10 years old here. What strikes me most in this picture is his serious look. In fact many of his fellow pupils show a similar expression. There are only one or two faces where a smile can be detected. That is not very surprising if you realize that Nicolaas was the eldest of nine children. So I assume he had to earn his keep and probably more. Likely other boys had similar duties. 
Seven boys are wearing the type of knotted tie that I have seen recently in someone else's blog post; I forgot who that was, sorry. Possibly that picture has been made in the same time frame.
No girls in this picture! A possible reason can be that Nicolaas was on a Roman Catholic school with separate classes for girls.
Johanna Huberta de Langen Dr. H. Bavinckschool Cypresstraat Den Haag
Johanna Huberta de Langen (*1917) second row, third from the right
Possibly because of the lamp that hangs from the ceiling, I find this a typical 20s classroom. In it is my mother. I estimate she is 6 or 7 years old here so the photo can be dated around 1923/24. The school is the Herman Bavinckschool in the Cypresstraat, The Hague. Compared to the first picture this seems like a fairly large class, even by today's standards: 34 students of which 16 girls. (In Nicolaas' class I count 24 pupils.) In total there are 9 boys wearing a navy type blouse.
Lena Bakker Heenvliet
Lena Bakker (1880-1959), see arrow
I had to put the pieces of this picture together, literally. It shows my paternal grandmother when she was approx 10 years old. So we are talking 1890 here. Lena was born in Heenvliet, a small village in the south of the province of South Holland. So I presume she went to school there as well. The thing that strikes me most is the resemblance to her grandchild Marijke. In total I see 35 pupils and one teacher. Possibly there are a few lady teachers in the middle of the photo. If that is so, this may be the complete population of this village school.
In case you wonder where the red arrow came from, my father put it there. He used this picture for a presentation when his parents had been married 25 years in 1938. He apparently felt the need to point out to his audience who his mother was.
Curious to see more kids or books or..., go to Sepia Saturday and enjoy yourself.

Sepia Saturday


  1. These pictures are all striking, Peter, but what strikes ME, is the top photo. They all look like little men - with very large heads! Even the teacher has a bit of a Toulouse Lautrec look to him. What do you think?

    I really like that last photo that you pieced together too.

  2. Such interesting pictures. Nicholass was certainly a cute kid, but the next boy to the right is a pip. They seem to be sitting too low to cross his legs. The hair bows in your mother's picture are very familiar as I have lots of similar looks among my family photos. I'm glad you slept on it and were able to present us with this collection of school pictures - so much more interesting to me than heat and air conditioning or whatever that first thought was. (Although I'm sure I would have been pleasantly surprised by such a topic under your skillful hand!)

  3. I especially like the oldest one with the tear down the middle. I have an old one like that too. A couple of them, in fact. It is hard to match them up because pieces are often missing right in the crack. Too bad about the big arrow though.

  4. I always enjoy looking at old school photos. You are lucky to have some from your family.

  5. You are lucky to have these school pictures of your ancestors! I was struck by the almost defiant looks on the boys' faces in the first picture. I think the combination of the crossed arms with the unsmiling faces give that impression.

  6. @Kat
    I think it is their seriousness that creates that impression. And as far as the TL look is concerned, I already had the impression he looked kind of familiar. But now I know, you are right!
    I notice that apparently you never read my cliff hanger "How to dismantle an airco in twelve minutes". Personally I think vol. 1 is the best of the three. That's where the housewife refuses entrance to the mechanic.
    I don't mind the arrow cause my dad put it there. It is significant to me because I know the story behind it.
    We have many more of our own children. I like to think that those will be the treasures for our grandchildren.
    You are right, may be it is as Kat suggested, they look so grown up already

    Thank you all for visiting.

  7. He is a cutie! And all these old school photos are priceless; you are fortunate to have them! Love the sturdy clothing/shoes.When you think about it, kids haven't changed a bit, have they?

  8. Three fine photos that must be treasured by you. We only have some school groups (usually sporting) including my wife or me; many though of our children at school in the 1960s/70s which have all ben scanned onto computer files so there will be no splendid cracked photos like yours for anyone to inherit.

  9. The second picture is interesting, with the sailor suits and the large 'schoolplaten'. I tried to google-find the left one but no luck. The one on the right could be Charlemagne. History education has changed a lot since then...

  10. Peter, it is always interesting to see these old school photos. The children seldom laugh, they were much more inhibited and sometimes they even look sad. Yes, it is good to have breakfast first!

  11. Well yes they are all serious looking but most photos taken around those times, even of adults are serious. I don't think posing and smiling were in vogue for picture taking. What amazes me is the numbers in the classes. We had large class sizes too and today the teachrs complain if they have 20...The 3rd photo pieced together reminds me of an old one from my grandmother which I had restored, actually just copied because it was tattered too. You are fortunate to have these and they fit along the theme.

  12. Great photos! I'm glad you had your breakfast first. One must have fuel to tackle projects!

    I noticed that in all three of the photos these children were quite serious. Perhaps they were afraid to get into trouble.

  13. @Deb
    The kids haven't changed but today's pictures are a bit more colorful. Wonder how those survive the "tooth of time".
    Hope all the .jpg, .tif and what have you will still be decipherable in 50 years time.
    I did not cross my mind to do that but thanks for trying.
    @Titania & @Pat & @Jana
    I tend to agree, smiling was not "in". Having your picture made was a serious (and possibly expensive) business.

    I appreciated you all visiting my SS-post of this week!

  14. I should probably feel guilty that my archive theme choice is causing people to have sleepless nights - but I don't because then end result is a post as fascinating and interesting as this one.

  15. Wonderful old school photos, Peter! I especially like the second photo with all the children slumped with their arms crossed. They do not look happy to have their picture taken. Oh, and I was very happy to hear that you had breakfast before you started your post! :-)

  16. @Alan
    I rather have a sleepless night than running the risk of being seasick ;)
    Writing on an empty stomach is not for me. Tks for your concern ;)

    Thanks for visiting me this Sunday evening!

  17. @Rob
    Possibly the one on the right is a picture of Queen Wilhelmina?

  18. I share your sentiments about the 'aha!' moment when you find a connection to the SS theme for the week. More come in the night than I care to admit.

    That last photo totally amazed me. I have not seen any school photos from this time period. Fascinating!

  19. A splendid trio of school photos, Peter and so lucky that you have the important children marked and do not have to guess. It is amusing how all three groups are so glum and gloomy. There is tension in the air, as if the photographer has just shouted, "SIT STILL AND BE QUIET!"

  20. @Liz
    Have no idea when making school photo's came into fashion. BTW we call those class photo's. Hence the post title...
    You may very well be right! A stranger in your classroom and all these unknown camera's. Maybe even a magnesium flash, all sufficient to create a certain apprehension-like atmosphere.

    Thanks for your comments.

  21. But what happened that this last picture was in pieces? Was it folded or did someone got upset and shred it to pieces?!?

  22. @Ticklebear
    I don't know, this is how I found it in a linen roll.


All comments will be moderated before being published...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...