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By Tess Colwell

Posted on January 16, 2019

V1981.284.23[Children as daisies, from Sewing School Class], ca 1910, V1981.284.23; Emmanuel House lantern slide collection, ARC.136; Brooklyn Historical Society.

For the next several weeks, we are revisiting some of our favorite photos of the week. We hope you enjoy looking back with us as we prepare new posts for the New Year.

The photo of the week depicts children as daisies from sewing school class around 1910. The Emmanuel House, located at 131 Steuben Street in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn was a civic center and place of outreach run by the Young Men’s League of the Emmanuel Baptist Church. The Emmanuel House offered Sunday school, Kindergarten, and recreational classes such as sewing school, scouts, and baseball to children of the church and neighborhood. Sometime in the mid-20th century, the Emmanuel House was demolished due to the expansion of the neighboring Pratt Institute campus, and all activities were moved to the Emmanuel Baptist Church.

This photograph comes from the Emmanuel House lantern slide collection which contains 87 lantern slides depicting group portraits and scenes from the various activities at the Emmanuel House. This is one of my favorite photographs in the collection—I love that the children are posing in front of real potted flowers. I was curious to understand how this photograph related to the sewing school. In my research, I wasn’t able to find a direct connection, but the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported in 1899 that the closing exercises for the sewing school included the children and instructor performing a “pretty cantata entitled ‘Flower Praise.’” I can’t help but smile at the possibility of the children performing a song about flowers dressed as daisies.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. [email protected]

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