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Exploring the Private Past of Passmore

Introduction: Themes

Photo Album of Frances Passmore Lowe, Class of 1908, Page 66

Sports photographs occupy a large chunk of Passmore's scrapbook to show that women can be successful athletes as well as scholars.

The major themes through out the 137 pages of photographs are sports, architecture, theater, and off-campus activities. These subjects are historically relevant to the time in which Passmore was scrapbooking. It was a time where it was still controversial for women to receive an education in part due to arguments set forth by Edward Clarke Hammond that women were too “fragile” of creatures to handle a rigorous academic setting let alone engage in sports and other activities. Also, the Quaker ideals of a “guarded education” had been in the conscious of the designers of Bryn Mawr, which discouraged against such frivolous activities like theater, fashion or dancing. It is clear from her pictures that Passmore enjoyed participating in such things and had no qualms about commemorating it, which speaks to how Quaker roots were starting to disappear from the overt consciousness college. This linkage between Quakerism and Bryn Mawr would not appear again until the college's literature of the 1950’s. [1]

Passmore makes the very conscious decision to include a multitude of these kinds of things in her scrapbook to disprove this absurd sentimen set forth by Edward Clarke Hammond.. The inclusion of the architecture is important as well for it serves to further the sophisticated, intellectual image Bryn Mawr is trying to project to the world through its physical structures.
Photo Album of Frances Passmore Lowe, Class of 1908, Page 9

Inside of presumably Passmore's dorm room. This highlights the beautiful set up of the room as a woman's space to make her own was and still is a very important part of Bryn Mawr life.


[1] Pumroy, Eric. Bryn Mawr College. Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2007.