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A Surprisingly Raucous Time!
1910

 



Above, students pose for a group picture in a student room. Notice the screen- it was used to create a private changing area and to screen personal effects when visitors were present in the room . Courtesy MHC Archives(2)

 
 
 

 

The decade between 1910 and 1920 was a time of change in America. It was the time of the temperance movement, the Great War, and the drive of women's suffrage. Despite all this, the Victorian and Edwardian attitudes from the previous half century regarding behavior, class and social structure still prevailed in the larger American culture. Here at Mount Holyoke however, girls were socializing in ways that were quite undignified.

Dining:While Mount Holyoke students had lot to do with their time, including classes, clubs, and committees, meals were an important part of life. Besides nourishing the body, meals also nourished the sense of dorm community and personal social lives.

Teas & Spreads:Before the 10:00 p.m. lights out bell rang, girls were doing more than studying upstairs. While drawing rooms and parlors had once been the place to entertain guests and hold social events, students during the 1910's had begun to use their rooms as social gathering places. For members of the student body, upstairs was a private realm of the young women was where friendships were made and broken, the social hierarchy was constructed, and many pots of tea were drunk.

 

 

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