School days featured on vintage Successful Farming covers
From the very first issue of Successful Farming in 1902, our magazine has been about more than just livestock, crops, and machinery. The quality of life of farm families has always been an important topic, including the education of farm children. These beautiful covers ranging from 1902 to 1959 provide a glimpse into school days of the past.
What a sweet look into the yesteryear. These five little friends are dressed in their best clothes as they head down the dirt road to school, arm-in-arm.
Herbert Stitt created this comical illustration. The young boy is getting a good talking-to from his teacher, apparently for skipping school to go fishing. Who can blame him? The artist was born in 1880 and worked as a ranch hand.
Long before refillable water bottle stations lined school hallways, students took turns walking around with a bucket of water from the outdoor pump, offering classmates a drink from a community cup.
Could this little boy have a secret crush on his pretty teacher, or did he give her that apple to get into her good graces on the first day of school? Maybe his mom made him do it.
This little girl is about to scream, surely getting the spider-dropping boy behind her in trouble with the teacher. He looks like he thinks it will be worth it, though. Artist Russell Sambrook painted this cover art. He also did four covers for The Saturday Evening Post.
The walk to school can be a long one. In this sweet painting, a little girl stops and waits for her brother, who's carrying his book bag and lunchbox. Maybe he's carrying hers too.
The best thing about school is getting to see your friends every day, and these two girls are very happy to be reunited after summer vacation.
The school bell is ringing, calling students to come inside. Groups of friends make their way toward the school while a couple of boys get a last-minute drink from the hand pump.
This young teacher is identified as Myrtle Burke. From the looks of the blackboard, her students are working hard on fractions. On her desk is a copy of the book From Morning Till Night, a story about a group of children, their Scottie dog, and a pair of pet bear cubs.
"We're prepared at Oak Grove School," reads the cover blurb on this issue. Students in the Red Cross Club are practicing their first aid skills on a classmate. It looks like he's in good hands.
The cover blurb for this issue reads, "Before you judge the one-room school, read Spring-Dale's story." In 1919, there were 190,000 one-room schools in the U.S., and today there are still 400, mostly in rural Western areas.
It's a long way from the farm to Cornell University, but Bernard Stanton and Shirley Makes made it! Shirley graduated from Cornell in 1948 and went on to be a counselor at a community college and leader in civic activities. Bernard graduated with a bachelor's degree from Cornell's College of Agriculture in 1949, went on to the University of Minnesota and Oxford University, then returned to Cornell as an agricultural economics professor.
Those March ice storms can sure be nasty! This would probably be a snow day today, but in 1949, the bus made its way to this farmhouse to pick up the kids for school. Dad is waving in the background.
Diann and Kathleen Dennis of Lee County, Illinois, know how to throw a pre-football-game tailgate party! Mom holds a cake touting the match between the Eagles and Clippers, while the daughter, clad in her school sweater, pours drinks at the snack table.