I'm not quite sure what to make of this image, but there's a lot to look at. The blackboard is dated May 31, 1899 and "Class of '99" so perhaps this was the final day of school. The lesson is interupted with a tic-tac-toe game and it's been tagged in a few places.
There is a peculiar poem as part of the lesson: "There's always a river to cross, there's always a woman to boss, there's always some work to do, that keeps me in a stew."
One of the boys is Ralph Laraway. He was born in 1881, so I'm guessing this is either a high school graduation picture or perhaps he's enrolled at a university. We're not sure who the other boy is.
Must have been one of the taller kids that wound the clock every few days.
Roger Sheldrake on 27th May 2021 @ 9:57am
Are those juggling pins behind the boys?
andyb on 27th May 2021 @ 10:30am
Interesting picture, must have been a math class with the algebra equations on the blackboard. I was also wondering about the juggling pins and the clock high on the wall. I had no idea the practice of "tagging" with graffiti goes back over 120 years. I wonder if these two pigeon-toed boys belonged to a local "gang".
kmb on 27th May 2021 @ 5:32pm
The June 1900 census says Ralph is living in Glenwood, Iowa and in school.
Since there is some similarity in looks I wonder if the other boy is Ralph's older brother Seth. He is 3 years older than Ralph.
Comparing a photo on Ancestry.com, I would say the boy on the left is Ralph but it is hard to tell.
I also wonder what the bowling pin looking things are on the desk behind the boys.
L.E. on 27th May 2021 @ 5:44pm
The "bowling pins" were known as "Indian Clubs"
JEC on 27th May 2021 @ 8:11pm
Thanks JEC. And they are available on Amazon.
L.E. on 27th May 2021 @ 10:47pm