Rod Library--Special Collections
UNI Classrooms from the Late 1800s to the Early 1900s
This display features 16 photographs of early classrooms on the UNI campus. They range in date from 1891 to 1908, with one in 1930. For the majority of the photos, the building name is not identified. However, the classrooms were most likely located in Old Central Hall, the first building on campus, Old Gilchrist Hall, the second building on campus, or the Auditorium Building (Lang Hall), the third building. The purpose of these classes was to prepare individuals to teach the subject matter in public schools.
These photos and many others are housed in the Rod Library's Special Collections.
History classroom in 1891. Notice the hardwood
floors and the hard, wooden benches.
Art classroom in 1893. In this photo each student has
his or her own chair and drawing stand.
Primary methods laboratory in 1891. This class appears to be working with
clay. Notice that there are very few gentlemen in the room.
Women’s physical culture class in 1891. They appear to be in the same room
as the following photograph, which was taken six years later.
Physical culture class in 1897. Instruction in the physical cultures consisted
of light gymnastics both with and without dumb-bells and wands. Although the
class was optional at that time, the UNI Bulletin stated that the more progressive
public schools would expect their teachers to be well versed and practiced in this subject.
First year class studying Latin in 1893.
Chemical laboratory in 1891.
Chemistry classroom in 1908.
Physical science laboratory in 1905.
Apparatus manufacture physics class in 1891. Abbott C. Page was the
instructor of this class, which was held in the basement of Old Gilchrist Hall.
This classroom was equipped with wood-working and iron-working tools
that students were expected to use to create apparatus illustrating the
laws of physics. Notice that two ladies were also taking the course.
This appears to be an industrial arts classroom of some kind in 1908.
Notice the chips and shavings on the floor in the back by the work
areas and the individual light bulbs hanging over each desk.
Undated early laboratory classroom.
Notice the door to this 1897 classroom is directly behind the instructor’s desk,
making it difficult for latecomers to enter unnoticed.
Notice the electric lights in the ceiling in this 1908 photo.
1930 photograph of classroom in Old Gilchrist Hall.