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October 8, 2013

Interesting Vintage Portrait Photos of American Women's Basketball Teams From Between the 1900s and 1910s

Women's basketball began in the winter of 1892 at Smith College. Senda Berenson, an instructor at Smith, taught basketball to her students, hoping the activity would improve their physical health. Basketball's early adherents were affiliated with YMCAs and colleges throughout the United States, and the game quickly spread throughout the country.

However, Berenson was taking risks simply in teaching the game to women. She worried a little about the women suffering from "nervous fatigue" if games were too strenuous for them. And, in order to keep it "acceptable" for women to play at all, she taught modified rules. Peach baskets and the soccer ball were the equipment. Uniforms consisted of attire similar to school uniforms, including long baggy shorts. Meanwhile current women's basketball uniforms consist of a jersey and gym shorts. Variations of Berenson’s rules spread across the country via YMCAs and colleges.

Below, we collected 33 interesting portrait team photos from Miami University Libraries - Digital Collections. These images were made from between the 1900s and 1910s.

Miami women's basketball team 1909

Miami women's basketball team 1911

Miami women's basketball team 1907

Miami women's basketball team 1910

Women's basketball team 1906

Miami University Liberal Arts College women's basketball team 1905

Miami University Liberal Arts College Women's Basketball Team 1903

Junior women's basketball team 1903

Western College basketball freshmen 1914

Western College basketball seniors 1916

Oxford College basketball team 1916

Western College basketball team ca. 1910

Western College basketball team ca. 1910

Western College freshman basketball team 1916

Western College basketball juniors 1917

Western College basketball juniors 1916

Western College basketball juniors 1919

Western College freshman basketball team 1917

Western College basketball sophomores 1919

Western College junior basketball team 1917

Western College basketball sophomores 1913

Western College basketball sophomores 1916

Western College basketball seniors 1919

Western College basketball juniors 1912

Western College basketball sophomores 1917

Western College basketball freshmen 1912

Western College sophomore basketball team 1916

Western College basketball sophomores 1917

Western College basketball freshmen 1919

Western College basketball juniors 1914

Western College basketball sophomores 1912

Western College basketball freshmen 1917

Western College sophomore basketball team 1915

(Photos via Miami University Libraries - Digital Collections)




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