When I started this web page it was just going to be a bit of
fun with the multi-class reunion taking place in 1998. It seems to have
turned into quite a project for me. I've enjoyed immensely the yearbooks
and the changes in our society that they represent.
It is quite exciting to go through the 1956... and the other
early yearbooks after the first. The beginnings of Van Horn are depicted
and the many organizations, student activities, and other Van Horn memorabilia
are exciting to investigate. Personnel were already changing in those
early years. Many teachers were at Van Horn from the start well into the
80's and 90's in some cases. These are folks that dedicated their lives to
The students depicted changed markedly through the
years. There were years when the boys looked liked girls and unless there
was a name by them you couldn't tell gender. The early years didn't have
that problem... but oh what hair dos and such. I admit to liking a simpler
world and one more basic. The social trend is obviously going toward
Participation seemed to pervade the Van Horn High
School. It seemed like 'everyone' was doing something... participating in
some activity. I'm sure that was not the case but there was sure a lot
more participation than there is today in the school. Some activities have
even ceased in today's world due to lack of interest.
And on the yearbooks themselves...
The quality of the yearbooks from year to year becomes more
obvious when you are comparing them such as I have had occasion to do.
Some of them are quite good and some of them sure left a lot to be desired.
Picture resolution... I scanned each page of the seniors and
used an HP scanner at 2400 dpi in true color. I have tried to reduce the
size of the pictures so that they would be quicker to download. Some of
the yearbooks were of such a quality that I could effectively do that and the
writing was still readable and the pictures themselves were viewable.
Others had such poor quality that the writing became unreadable and I could not
reduce them. I have modified the pictures to a .jpg format for faster
downloading as they are smaller in most cases. Some years I did not do
I have now started setting up some of the years so that when
you click on a senior you will have a popup window with the senior in it.
The window will come to the top each time you click on a senior and show that
classmate's picture and other info if available. There are classmates that
had some special information that I have made a separate page for. That
will popup when you select their name.
The yearbooks definitely progressed into different areas as
far as quality and presentation. Early yearbooks had a cloth cover and
later issues had a leather cover. The names were at times listed first
name first, last name last... and in other yearbooks they were last name first
format. Some yearbooks had multiple pictures side-by-side with the names
all together. They were a pain to scan, crop and associate the names with
the pictures. Other yearbooks had individual pictures with the name
associated with the picture right beside it. Those made it a lot easier to
scan, crop and place. 1978 chose a script format for the name fonts.
It is virtually unreadable in some cases.
Some years the names included
accomplishments and participation information while others just had the name
only. The accomplishments were in a 'history' page at the rear of the
yearbook. Apparently several yearbook researchers were either lazy or the
class really didn't do much. There were only four or five pages of
'history' in those years. Other years had 10 or more pages.
A few yearbooks that I've found had color pictures involved with
them and there were not a lot of them. Black and white seems to pervade
the industry. Cost? This changed in 1979 when the yearbook went to
all color pictures for the seniors. 1980 was all color and they decided to
do ovals around the seniors, along with black paper. 1981 is back to black
and white. 1960 is a step back into the past. Crew
cuts and conservative hair-dos. 1960 editing didn't impress me since they
put folks out of alphabetical order on several pages... or did they really
intend to have some pages with the alphabetizing backwards? 1960 also had the full
name of students where later editions didn't have even the middle initial in
most cases, let alone the middle name. 1988 seems to have finally
acknowledged that there are students that couldn't make it in to get their
pictures in the summer and they have added them at the end of the seniors
dressed in an obvious casual manner.
Faculty was presented in a basic light in most cases.
There were a couple of years that went into the faculty presentation in
depth. More information about the faculty member with likes, dislikes,
educational history and other information presented. Particularly 1974 and
1978 were good in this area.
The yearbooks were done cheaply in many cases. Some of
them presented information that was unreadable, incorrect or out of
alignment. Cite the history pages from the 1980 yearbook. Super
small fonts on black paper that were virtually unreadable. Other yearbooks
were excellent in their presentation and content. I liked 1961 in
particular for the individual pictures and the description immediately under the
picture. The 1981 yearbook is a new walk into the world of
unbelievable. The history, which was put down the center of each page,
doesn't say which classmate the history is for. There are some that are
obvious that it is a girl's history vs. a boy's history so you can determine
ownership. Others have girls on both sides and only one history.
There is no way to tell which girl the history is for. I left the history
off for now in those cases since it was indeterminate.
Misspellings were rampant and it appears that in the later
years particularly the names were incorrectly alphabetically sorted also.
The yearbook many times reflects the name used by the classmate but not the
actual birth name. Locating someone thus becomes a bit more
difficult. There are also some seniors pictured that simply did not show
up in the commencement flyer. One must assume that these people did not
graduate or graduated at a later date for some reason. There are also some
classmates that graduated mid-year so they are either not pictured or not listed
in the commencement flyer.
I have some goals in producing the future web pages
here. I will ultimately eliminate the not pictured pages and integrate
them into the general class listing. I have a new program ASP program
being written to handle the classmates in real time so that I can update one
database and not have to do several when a classmate leaves and email update,
etc. I'd also like to present more reunion highlights if they are
submitted, among other things. I would also like to solicit commencement
flyers from all years. The presentation can be a more accurate one then.
Check out the errors listing also and update us if you know of
a yearbook error. <ERRORS>
What do I look for in a yearbook? As I've gone through
these Van Horn yearbooks it becomes painfully obvious that all are not
equal. There are certain things that I expect to see in a yearbook and I'm
not seeing these things in many of the yearbooks.