Monday, February 18, 2013

looking to the collegiate past

While camping out on the stairs the other day, waiting for the previous class to end so my class could begin, I started staring at the flight of stairs opposite me. Their steel beams were clearly stamped "CARNEGIE". As in, steel from Mr. Andrew Carnegie's steel company. That got me thinking: the building I was in was built in 1900. The stairs on which I was sitting were probably part of the original structure. Even if the interior had vastly changed, there was a feeling of collegiate history that permeates the whole building.

For over a hundred years, young men and women have walked some of the same hallways and through the same quads. And it got me thinking, what was it like to go to school back then? And then I started looking up pictures.

Washington University in St. Louis class of 1908

Pictures from commencements are fairly easy to find. I love these girls' graduation outfits. And the hats! But that's not quite real college life. 

students in class, 1910

A classroom...more like it. I love the 1910s for fashion and these ladies look so professional and polished. I love the way that looks much more than the sweats that I sometimes wear other people wear to class.  The idea of lacing myself into a corset each morning before my lit class...not so much though.

Vanderbilt's Yale dorm room in the 1900s

This was apparently what a turn-of-the-century dorm room looked like--specifically, Vanderbilt's Yale dorm room. Gotta say, this looks somewhat shnazzier than my modular furniture. Of course, it is a Vanderbilt's room. I have to believe that the scholarship kid who worked to get a room did not have it this nice.

Washington University in St Louis dining early 1900s
As far as I can tell, there wasn't always a dining hall where you'd go to eat cafeteria style. It looks like you would have a dining hall inside your dorm. What I love best about this picture is the difference in variety of food. My dining hall now is full of options. Tonight I can decide between Indian, (fake) Mexican, stir fry, grill-type foods, sandwiches, pizza... All depending on what I feel like. Can't say that I envy them their one option. 

I'm still very curious and I'll let you know if I find out anything interesting!

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