Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday, almost: Short trousers, pinafores and Pupils: School Days

Lately on this blog, there has been a running theme focussed on schools and school children — 'Within these walls: School Days' & 'The Promise in a Photograph'. Given that it is mid-July, boys and girls in Ireland are not yet thinking about going back to the classroom, although many of their teachers are already beginning preparations for their return during the week of 1 September. In honour of all of them, on this Wordless Wednesday, here are photographs harvested from the National Library of Ireland collections on flickr, featuring little 'chislers', as my dad would say, enjoying school days in Ireland oh so long ago.

Look up!
Young boys pictured outside a school room in Connemara, 1892.
From the collection of Major Ruttledge-Fair.
National Library of Ireland (NLI) flickr stream.
Miss Crowe and Mr Gildea with their pupils at Kilglass National School, Ahascragh, Co.Galway
Pupils at Kilglass National School, Ahascragh, Co. Galway,
pictured with their teachers Miss Crowe and Mr. Gildea, 1902.
May 15, 1924
Students of the Ursuline Convent, Waterford,
in costume for their Dolls' Hospital, 15 May 1924.
St. Anne's Kindergarten Class
St. Anne's Kindergarten class, Ursuline Convent, Waterford,
17 June 1927.
Synge Street Boys
Boys of Synge Street School, Dublin City, 1941.
November 23, 1949
Girls at the Sisters of Charity School in Waterford, 23 November 1949.


  1. I found the difference in clothing fascinating...the convent schools, the rural areas and the change over time. The children in the first photo looked like they'd all had their hair shorn...perhaps a lice invasion as happens in schools even today.

    1. Pauleen, thanks very much for your comments. I too find the 'costumes' of education very interesting. The uniforms take me back to my pre-university Catholic education in an all-girls school, and the 'great equalizer' of the uniform, including all the rules the nuns had in place such that no single one of us would stand out from the rest. Perish the thought — shorn hair and head lice — but as you say it may have been the reason.



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