Behold the “Girls’ Rifle Team of Drexel Institute,” Washington D.C., circa 1925. If you’re not familiar, Shorpy is a “vintage photography blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s” with fantastic and striking work, and also allows you to buy fine-art prints.
According to an anonymous commenter on Shorpy’s site :
The condition and variety of their rifles notwithstanding, it appears that the squad had a very good record. Drexel fielded noteworthy rifle teams all throught the ’30′s and ’40′s at least. I could not find this particular photo, but there were many articles, often with photos, about the girls’ team at about this time. A selection follows.
Philadelphia Girls Becoming Marksmen
“The girl students of the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia have organized a rife team and, under the instruction of Lieut. J. P. Lyons, U.S.A., military instructor at the Institution, are rapidly becoming expert marksmen.” Rock Valley Bee, 21 January 1921.
Good Rifle Teams at Drexel College
“Drexel Institute, of Philadelphia, had two wonderful rifle shooting teams the past indoor season – one of boys, the other of girls. So good was the girls’ team that Capt. J. P. Lyons, the instructor, said: ‘I would like to match the girls against any boys’ rifle team in the country.’ When the instructor talks that way the girls must be counted on as real shots. They were. They didn’t lose a match. Next season, it is more than likely that the girls will be eligible to try for the university team. Drexel won 16 of its 18 matches, lost 1 and tied 1 – with Yale. In five of its matches Drexel made perfect scores.” Washington Post, 18 June 1922.
Fair Warning [photo caption]
“Girls’ rifle team of Drexel Institute defeated a picked sharpshooter squad of Philadelphia police in a match.” Hammond, Indiana, Times, 25 February 1926.
Though I am no proponent of fur, I can’t help but lust after the coat on the woman on the far right. Hell, I’ll take the shoes and the gun too, because THAT, my friends, is an outfit you can’t argue with.