Homemade Ravioli

A place for Quattrones, Betteridges, and Praticos to share our family stories, history, and heritage.

Thoroughly Modern Jennie

FullSizeRender-4A favorite photograph of mine is my grandmother, Jennie Quattrone, as a teenager in the 1920s. There are no markings on the photograph, but given the bob haircuts on all of the girls and that Jennie was born in 1912, we can safely estimate that this is 1928 or so. That would put her (top right) at about the age of 16 which looks about right–again, estimating by the faces of the girls.

Where they are is much harder, if not impossible, to determine.

Following the line of logic by asking where would my Nan be with a group of girls in the 1920s, my first thought is school.

She went to South Philadelphia High School which, back then, had two separate annexes. One for boys and one for girls. Nan would have been attending a a still relatively new high school building if she started at about the age of 14 in 1926 according to the website Hidden City Philadelphia:

In 1914, the school adopted more rigorous academic standards to better prepare students for more than life in a factory, and subsequently more students were admitted. To accommodate for this new influx of students, a duplicate school was built for girls. The tunnel served as the conduit between the boys’ school on Broad and Snyder and the Girls school on 13th Street.

Still, there are no books in the photo. Maybe this is a day out in Philadelphia. Yet, no shopping bags, no purses. Nothing that could serve as a clue.

However, this may not be a totally lost chase. Researching South Philadelphia High School, I discovered that they have records dating back all the way to 1900: transcripts, immunization records, and student files. I may need a lawyer friend to help me access the records as they will only mail to alumni, other schools, or lawyers. I would love to take a ride down to see the yearbooks from the mid to late 20s when my Nan would have been in school and on the girls’ basketball team.

The next step is finding out if those old years books are housed at the school or perhaps at the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia or the Department of Records.

One thing is for sure, Nan was looking beautiful in her thoroughly modern hair-do!

About Brian Kelley

Middle school teacher, co-chair of our ELA department, and co-director with PAWLP. Follow me on Twitter @_briank_.

2 comments on “Thoroughly Modern Jennie

  1. mbqhclover
    February 14, 2015

    Are they wearing swim suits?


  2. mbqhclover
    February 14, 2015

    My parents also went to Southern. My brother may be able to request the info under my mom’s name.


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This entry was posted on February 14, 2015 by .
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