Fifth Grade students of Mineral Ridge School, Weathersfield Township, Trumbull County, Ohio, are smack in the middle of the Roaring Twenties and unaware of the ravages of the Great Depression that would arrive only a few years later.
At right is my mom, Audrey Meinzen, age 10. She looks angry or at least very serious. Perhaps she was
standing between two girls who weren't close friends or in front of a
boy/boys who teased her. Or maybe some misfortune had come her way just
before the photo was taken. The two dark strips on her dress appear to be the long ribbons of the
bow tied at her neckline.
Every girl in the class wears her hair cut in the popular "bob." On the other hand, their dresses are as varied as their faces. Though the 1920s was a time of economic boom for America in general, I suspect that the families in little Mineral Ridge continued to live frugally. Many of the girls' dresses look home-sewn to me, certainly a money-saving effort at that time (unlike now when it's less expensive to buy a dress than make one).
The boys wear shirts with ties, vests, sweaters, and/or jackets. In the front row, most are still wearing short pants with long stockings. The boys in short pants are probably a little jealous of the boys in long pants (if my father's feeling about short pants was anything like those of these boys). I wonder if the boys on either end in the front row purposefully stuck out their tongues or it was just a chance lick of the lips and click of the shutter.
My mother never identified her classmates in this photo. How would one ever know who these children are unless their descendants found this photo and recognized them? I have a list of those who graduated with my mother but it's no help in putting names and faces together.
I'll just enjoy looking at the faces of these children and imagine what their lives might have been like. You can click the photo to enlarge it and get a closer look.
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