The Newtonite Way Back When

compiled by Julia Moss

The Newonite, Volume I, No. 8. Newton High School, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1922
(80 years ago this week)
It is clear from the this early issue of this news source that many articles in the paper in the 1920’s delivered news from the school in a deliberately amusing, satirical manner. In reading these old issues of this news source, we can get a good laugh while also learning about the history of this school.
Here are some high points from this early issue:

Girls’ Hockey Team Dines in Wellesley

[media-credit name=”The Newonite, Volume I, No. 8. Newton High School, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1922″ align=”alignnone” width=”323″] This article covers a tea party the girls’ hockey team attended at the Wellesley “Green Bough” tea room. Wait a second—this school had a girls’ hockey team in 1922? In the 20th century United States, women were considered too fragile to vote—let alone play contact sports such as hockey—until 1920, when they were given the right to suffrage. It is quite impressive that our school was able to overcome some of these sexist ideas so early on. It is amusing to imagine a hockey team playing such a rough game, and then gathering for tea and cinnamon toast. What a contrast! Even more amusing is that the girls did not take the tea party seriously, hanging the rafters in the Wellesley tea house with long johns, which were dubbed “Long Newtons” in the article.

Fire Rages in Sedate Forum

[media-credit name=”The Newonite, Volume I, No. 8. Newton High School, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1922″ align=”alignnone” width=”323″] Upperclassmen members of the sedate forum club set a bonfire in a supposed attempt to frighten the freshmen members makes for another very interesting piece. According to the article, the upperclassmen also told horror stories, nearly turning the more “timid freshmen” to “stone.” Of course, the reader finds out at the end of the article that this fire was fictional. It is amusing that this joking, satirical, piece—which pokes fun at both freshmen and upperclassmen—made the front page of the paper. In 1922, when students did not have many of the technological inventions we now enjoy, it makes sense that they wanted the school newspaper to serve as a source of entertainment.

Wearplus Ties

[media-credit name=”The Newonite, Volume I, No. 8. Newton High School, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1922″ align=”alignnone” width=”323″] This advertisement is very different than the newspaper ads we see in 2012. Most newspaper ads today simply state the product or business and include some sort of eye-catching graphic and creative slogan. While this advertisement states the product and includes a picture, it also uses some marketing techniques that seem amusing to us now. The ad targets girls, but it uses some sort of reverse psychology, beginning with “Girls—Don’t Read This” in bold letters. The ad then urges girls to buy Wearplus Ties as the perfect gift for their boyfriends. It is interesting that this ad directed at such as a specific audience. While it seems peculiar and amusing to us today, it was probably very effective in its day.

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