In the late 1930s, nine ladies and one young man posed for this picture at a twirling camp in Taylor County Texas. The Richard and Smith Libraries at Hardin-Simmons University, a private Baptist university in Abilene, donated the photo to a Texas archive.
Bob Sanders was the twirling camp instructor. Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate any information about him.
There are two things we love about this photo. First, the 1930s dresses with their floral prints, modest necklines and mid-calf flared hemlines. Also, the Mary Jane shoes with anklets are so cute. Second, the batons with the giant balls on the ends. Note how they cast shadows across the front of the girls’ dresses. These look similar to other marching batons we’ve seen in photos of early-day band majorettes.
Twirling at Hardin-Simmons University
Speaking of Hardin-Simmons University, they didn’t have baton twirlers, but they did have rope twirlers from 1925 to 1974 (Source). We restored the image since the original had good clarity. This ensures restoration does not distort hair, faces, etc. We think it came out great!
Required Citation: Summer Twirling Camp Students, photograph, 1930~; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth52852/: accessed May 21, 2023). University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu, crediting Hardin-Simmos University Library.