School Life in 1943 (21 Photos)

 

In June, 1943, photographer Philip Bonn was assigned to capture a few days in the life of a rural school in Virginia.  The following set of 21 photos represent a few of our favorites from his time at Randolph Henry High School in Charlotte County, Virginia.  

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Some of the Senior girls take a moment to catch up on gossip before the school day starts.

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

A look in to the girls' gym class at Randolph Henry.  Does anyone remember wearing similar gym-class uniforms?

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

The school was funded by a mix of WPA grants and donations, but the library was separate.  The state paid half of the cost of the library, the local school board paid one quarter, and one quarter was raised by the school

More photos on the Next Page...

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Bonn's Caption:  "Home economics cottage.  Girls learn the art of homemaking, how to sew, plan meals, cook and serve, what food to eat, how to entertain..."

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Another view of the girls in the Home Economics Cottage.  On certain days, they would put their lessons in to practice by having a proper dinner with a guest.  

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Interior of vocational shop.  Boys learn to repair farm machinery, carpentering and welding. Machine shop is a three-year course.

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Students trying to look interested in Biology class!

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

The school band practicing for the last time before the June graduation ceremony.

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Who can forget the lockers?  Ours always seemed to take longer to unlock than others' did!

 

 

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

The boys would get to play baseball outside for their gym class as the summer drew near.  This young lady was a new teacher who replaced the many male teachers who went off to war.

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

A cafeteria worker begins preparing for the day's cooking.  

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Lunch cost about 15 cents, but most students did not have money, so the school made it so they could bring in produce from their farm or garden as currency.  

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Younger students stop to check out a graduation rehearsal.

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

Congratulations, Class of 1943!  It's interesting that the boys and girls have different colored gowns.  Many of the young men had enlisted early in the war.  

Keysville, Virginia 1943
1943
Keysville, Virginia
LOC

In true rural fashion, one family came to watch graduation on horseback.  

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