This Is Pennsylvania, 1957

Recently I ran across a video for Penn that was created in 1957 and documents campus life for a full 30 minutes. There’s some really great footage in here, and you are able to see a lot of detail that’s not as noticeable with still-frame photos like you get in “Take Ivy.”

Here are some highlights:

• 1:10-1:30, 2:20-2:35, 11:20- 12:30 and 17:30-18:00 are scenes straight out of “Take Ivy,” except a decade earlier.

• Check out the classroom close-ups from 9:15 to 10:00. Great examples of three piece suits, repp ties, and tortoiseshell glasses.

• At the 14-minute mark there are several examples of midcentury women’s style.

• Check out the tennis players in all white at 21:25, track and field at 21:30, and rowers starting around 21:40.

• And for scenes of Ivy League football in its heyday, jump to 23:30. Fun fact: John Heisman, pioneer of the forward pass and namesake of the trophy, was a Penn alum and head coach. — MARK CHOU

15 Comments on "This Is Pennsylvania, 1957"

  1. World's End | June 6, 2012 at 6:55 am |

    What a great find. Fascinating stuff. But how DID they manage to dress without John Simons?

  2. Jim Kelleth | June 6, 2012 at 7:15 am |

    Absolutely great! And is that John Facenda doing the voiceover?

  3. OldSchool | June 6, 2012 at 9:01 am |

    @Jim Kelleth

    It very well might be. John Facenda was broadcasting out of Philadelphia in 1957. Here’s another sample of his voice and narrating style:

  4. OldSchool | June 6, 2012 at 9:24 am |

    One more example of John Facendsa’s voice and style:

  5. That was fun, thanks. Speaking of “tennis whites”, till the late 70s most tennis clubs in the mid-west would n’t allow anything but white.

  6. Roomy Khakis | June 6, 2012 at 8:31 pm |


    The decline and fall of civilization

  7. Damn, I planned to post it next week! Hahaha. Once again, you were faster. Great post anyways!

  8. Richard Meyer | June 7, 2012 at 3:07 am |

    The University Museum is a storehouse of great antiquities. I went to Wisconsin in early, pre-crazy 60’s, and we dressed mostly like that as well. Then it all crashed.

  9. @ MAC – in the northeast that requirement lives on. In general I think it’s a nice tradition that should be maintained, but at times it gets difficult to make your children understand why they can’t wear the latest shirt from their favorite ATP player.

  10. Green
    How true, the change pretty much followed the explosion of tennis popularity in the late 70s and the fashion of the ATP players. Also, the expansion of the clubs’ pro shops to jump on the trend to increase profits, which previously sold only basics, shoes , balls and rackets.
    Any remember the Ralph Lauren’s “tennis blacks”, many thought it was his protest to the rainbow trend in tennis fashion. He never commented on it, as far as I know, but maybe he was just co-opting the trend away from all whites.

  11. That was a nice treat! I loved how everyone dressed up. Now a days, people seem to dress so casually.

  12. Here is further evidence of our fall. The video, at 26:49 mentions “Logan Hall.” Thanks to the university’s venality, and Ron Perelman’s unchecked ego and matching checkbook, Logan Hall is now known as Claudia Cohen Hall after (one of many of) Perelman’s ex-wife.

  13. Dutch Uncle | June 12, 2012 at 8:33 am |

    How right you are, Repp Man.

    Logan Hall was named after this gentleman:

    and later renamed after a gossip columnist.

  14. This was a combination of lovely, nostalgic and sad. When did we as a society get away from this? When did we become a world of ‘Wal-Mart people’ dressers? I agree with Roomy Khaki’s comment: ‘The decline and fall of civilization.’

  15. Kathie
    Hello Mo. Girl, love the new do, but being an Ozark Hillbilly, you shouldn’t bad mouth Wal-Mart, just kiddin. Eldorado Springs, a thriving hamlet east of Nevada and they got a Triumph dealership. Nice blog, but I was confused, i’m old, do you live in D.C. or Mo.?

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