The “transportation wagon” was a proud symbol of educational progress early in the 20th century, second only to the new and enlarged school buildings they were designed to serve. ” Good roads,” the state’s Rural School Supervisor’s Report declared in 1917, “improve transportation: improved transportation makes possible [the] consolidation of district schools; consolidation invariably improves the schools.” The vehicle pictured here was purchased in 1911 for Greendale (Fayette County), one of the first consolidated high schools in the state. Standing beside Sam Brooks, the driver, is Nannie Faulconer, county superintendent from 1904 to 1921. The legislation which extended “school suffrage” to women was not enacted by the General Assembly until 1912, but women began holding office as county school superintendents in Kentucky before 1900.
On the wagons and school reform in the South, more generally, see William Link, A Hard County and a Lonely Place: Schooling, Society and Reform in Rural Virginia, 1870-1920 (University of North Carolina Press, 1986).
On the superintendency, see David Tyack and Elizabeth Hansot, Managers of Virtue: Public School Leadership in America, 1820-1980 (Basic Books, 1982), and Jackie M. Blount, Destined to Lead the Schools: Women and the Superintendency, 1873-1995 (SUNY Press, 1995).
There’s something they say about words and pictures, so we won’t belabor this too much. Below you’ll find some of the most eye-catching photographs we ran on the site in the last year. Set aside some time to scroll through each one: They’re an amazing window onto everything that’s happening in the world–from Detroit’s collapse and the economic rise of China and the Middle East, to environmental disasters at home and abroad.
And then, less seriously, some great photos of those ridiculous fake tree cell phone towers, hilarious examples of what happens when strangers draw your Facebook photos, and a series of the true residents of Portland, who are crazier than anything you’ve seen on Portlandia. You’ll enjoy them all. And if that’s not enough, you can see our favorites from last year here.
1: Beautifully Mashed-Up Photos Show The Glory And Wreckage Of Detroit
The “Detroit Now and Then” project artfully combines vintage photos of the city with images of what’s there now, providing a poignant reminder of what the city was, what it is now and–maybe–what it could be again.
2: “Portraitlandia”: Photos Of Portland’s Most Portland-y Residents
If Portlandia were a photo series, it would probably look something like Kirk Crippens’s “Portraitlandia,” which features iconic Rose City residents in their natural habitats.
3: Look At These Chinese Workers Carrying Mind-Blowing Amounts Of Stuff
11: These Horrifying Photos Show A Destroyed American Landscape That Agriculture Giants Don’t Want You To See
These aerial images of industrial beef farming operations look less like shots of land and more like a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
12: These Photos Of Tiny, Futuristic Japanese Apartments Show How Micro Micro-Apartments Can Be
Micro-apartments are in vogue today. But in Japan, people have been living in the Nakagin Capsule Tower’s 100-square-foot housing for decades.
Read more of our best stories of the year in these categories: Top stories, infographics, photography, maps, buildings, design, cities, food, transportation, innovative workplaces, bikes, collaborative consumption, energy, crowdfunding, robots, environment, health, education