icon for Home page
icon for Kid's Home page
icon for Digital Collection
icon for Activities
icon for Turns Exhibit
icon for In the Classroom
icon for Chronologies
icon for My Collection

Things To Do
Dress Up | 1st Person | African American Map | Now Read This | Magic Lens | In the Round | Tool Videos | Architecture | e-Postcards | Chronologies | Turns Activities

Send an E-Postcard of:
Girls Basketball team, Deerfield Academy

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
Contact us for information about using this image.

The average size of the American family shrunk throughout the 19th century as many upper and middle class couples had fewer and fewer children. Social reformers found the declining birth rate among the established "native" Anglo-Saxon families alarming. New waves of southern and eastern European immigrants arriving with large families and high birth rates were thought to be a threat to the American "race." Reasoning that healthy young women would produce larger families, high schools and academies began introducing athletic activities for girls. By the 1860s, female students could participate in calisthenics, tennis, badminton and croquet. Additional offerings in the 1890s included basketball, swimming, cycling and some track and field. School athletic activities largely benefited upper and middle-class girls like these in a 1904 photograph of the Deerfield Academy Girls Basketball team in Deerfield, Massachusetts; few working class families could send girls to school beyond the early elementary grades.


top of page

Share this image with a friend.
Simply enter their e-mail address below and we'll send them this image in an e-mail greeting, along with a link to see the image on our site.

To E-Mail Address *
From E-Mail Address *
From Name

* = Required

button for Side by Side Viewingbutton for Glossarybutton for Printing Helpbutton for How to Read Old Documents


Home | Online Collection | Things To Do | Turns Exhibit | Classroom | Chronologies | My Collection
About This Site | Site Index | Site Search | Feedback