Trenton, N. J. Ca 1911 - 1913. The scrapbook consists of 176 numbered pages. Material in the book is sectioned off under the different headings, (e.g. “Autographs”), and no material was entered into the first 73 pages of the book. The last item pasted into the book is on page 123. Of the pages that contain items, about 15 have an item pasted on both the recto and verso; most items are only on the recto of the leaf. Material begins to appear under the heading, “Her Invitations,” but the material in the book does not necessarily correspond to the assigned headings. Material consists of four invitations, six clippings, about 20 programs for plays, concerts, or debates, four dance cards, and small numbers of other assorted items such as tickets, and what may be handwritten calling cards. One program is loose, and does not appear to have been pasted into the volume. 9-1/4" x 5-7/8" A commerical scrapbook, published by Reilly & Britton, with their publisher imprint at the base of the spine. "The Girl Graduate, Her Own Book" gilt stamped to the front cover. The scrapbook shows the expected wear. The volume is in Good condition, with the front hinge broken, no doubt from the 'overstuffing' of the book, though no leaves are loose, nor do any appear to be missing missing. Some leaves are frayed at the edges, but most laid-in items show no evidence of ever having been pasted into the book. There are one or two incidences of an item's removal. Item #51030
This scrapbook was compile by Ms Sheddon during her years as a student at the New Jersey State Normal School in Trenton, NJ. The Normal School's name was changed several times over the years, being renamed Trenton State College, in 1958, and currently named The College of New Jersey since 1996. Ethel graduated from the Normal School in 1913. The scrapbook documents the wide extent of Ethels’s active social life during her student years.
The Normal School offered its students copious and varied programs, and the evidence of the scrapbook indicates that Ethel attended many of them. One handwritten invitation (~ March 1912) invites her to join the Shakespeare Society, and from the number of programs she saw, she appears to have accepted the invitation. In addition to plays, the Society also sponsored, in conjunction with the Philomathian Society, a debate on whether the United States should retain control of the Philippine Islands. Another debate, in conjunction with the Normal Pedagological Club, considers immigration restriction. Ethel also attended concerts and plays sponsored by the school.
Social events also figured in Ethel’s life at the school, and two dance cars, with their attached pencils, are pasted into the scrapbook. Two invitations are for church socials. One, from November 2, 1911 features a card with a silhouette of an owl; the other, from February 22, 1912 - Washington’s Birthday - came with a small wooden axe with a portrait of George Washington, no doubt a reference to Parson Weems’ cherry tree tale.
One clipping has the headline, “Largest Class Ever is Graduated from Trenton Normal School.” Under the headline is of a group portrait of a row of dark-suited men standing on the top step of a building entrance, and a large group of young women arranged on the steps below them. None of the women are named, but we presume one is Ethel Sheddon.
The volume records the social life of a young woman in her first years of making her way in the world as an adult, and her enthusiastic embrace of the intellectual and social opportunities offered by an institution that was founded to help develop well-rounded people to educate the generation that came after them. All-in-all, a unique survivor.