Cabinet of Curiosities

Cabinet of Curiosities: Beanies and Paddles

Sports and fraternity items

Freshman beanie, 1953, Class of 1957

Freshman beanie, 1957, Class of 1961

Washburn freshmen were required to wear beanies from the early 1910s through the late 1950s, with the exception of the war years, 1943-1947. It enforced their lowly status but also promoted class cohesion. They wore them for a set time period, which sometimes lasted into the second semester. At times harsh punishments were meted out for failure to wear the beanie. In 1939, The Washburn Review remarked on the sound heard “when the swinging arc of second growth oak slats is broken by the tensioned epidermis of any freshmen who fail to adhere to the tradition of wearing a cap.” In later years, offenders were forced to stand in a so-called stockade.

Kappa Sigma fraternity paddle, c. 1950

Phi Alpha Delta fraternity paddle, c. 1950

Although they allude to the practice of hazing in fraternities, these paddles were actually gifts to pledges when they became members. Phi Alpha Delta is a law school fraternity.

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