Bring back some good or bad memories


July 10, 2024

Princeton University Students Photographed After a Brutal Snowball Fight in 1892

Freshmen of the Princeton University class of 1895 pose for a solemn portrait after a freshman-sophomore snowball fight of 1892-93. They look like disconsolate pugilists. It was suggested rocks, in place of snowballs, were thrown by the students.

Did they sit for this portrait to bear witness to their bravery in battle or to protest the practice of filling snowballs with rocks? No one knows now.

Hazing was a part of Princeton student life since the earliest days of the College of New Jersey, though the practice had multiple names and forms over the years. Sophomores taught freshmen their place in the social hierarchy by forcing them to perform degrading acts, head shaving and occasional physical abuse. During a snowball fight in 1892, three freshmen from the class of 1895 (left to right, Darwin James, John Poe and Arthur Wheeler) suffered serious injuries.

By the twentieth century, hazing was technically forbidden, though the nearly identical practice of “horsing” rose in its place. It was not until the 1960s that the last forms of restriction on freshmen behavior were lifted.

(Photos courtesy of Princeton University Archives)


Post a Comment



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10