More Fun in the Cloisters

Here are a few more examples of activity around the cloisters, all from the 1920s and 30s. I had a hard time finding pictures of people just sitting around talking, but there were lots of images of strange antics. It’s the unusual that people bother to photograph and these are definitely unusual. This first one is from the early 1920s and it shows a mild form of hazing: “assuming the angle” or “calculating the angle.” The bent over wretches were freshmen “slimes” and the paddler was certainly a sophomore. It wasn’t always so mild, but this episode was for public display. I’ve seen other pictures of it done with brooms and I suspect it got substantially worse than than that.

This second one was taken about ten years later, in the early 1930s. I’m shocked, shocked that there is gambling going on in here. Actually, the early scrapbooks are chock full of evidence of widespread gambling, including cards, poker chips and markers. Without television, how else to spend idle time?

 And finally, some young women, also circa 1930. I thought at first that they were doing some sort of jump rope thing, but on second look it seems more like they’re playing with something stretchy. In any event, I’m just as interested in the signs behind them. It looks like there’s going to be some sort of rally and I think the one on the left announces the time and place of the annual Slime Parade. (More on that later.) This is where you would put up signs if you wanted to be sure everyone would see them, much as they hang them in front of the library today.

Don’t worry–I have more, so much more, about hanging around the cloisters to share.

Bonus: We have another leaner.

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5 Responses to More Fun in the Cloisters

  1. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    “… done with brooms …”
    Melissa, perhaps some athlete of the 1950’s might enlighten you on the use of the broom as a disciplinary measure for erring fellow athletes.

  2. Deborah Gronke Bennett says:

    I am intrigued by a figure in the background of the gambling picture. Next to a man in formal clothes, do you think that is someone (presumably female) in a full cloak with hood? If so, then this daytime picture must have been taken in the winter!

    • Mike Ross says:

      You may be correct about winter. The “formal” fellow in the background seems to be wearing a tie and a long coat, maybe an overcoat? The woman next to him appears to be wearing a full-collared fur coat. I don’t see any hood, but rather a “full head of hair” arranged in a common hairstyle of the day.

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