History with Chuck: Cheltenham High School’s knicker-wearing rebels were feat. in The Inquirer in 1922

The photograph above appeared in the March 12, 1922 edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer. It features Cheltenham High School female students Edna Rodenbaugh (left) and Dorothy Leonard (right), who had been summoned to the principal’s office for wearing knickers.

Principal C.L. Meyers told the ladies to discontinue their attempts to start a fad.

Rodenbaugh and Leonard were the forerunners of a female group who had purchased knickers in accordance with the latest dictates of fashion. According to local historian Chuck Langerman, the accessory item was banned at Cheltenham High because they “created a disturbance.”

Dorothy Leonard, a Glenside resident, was the first girl in CHS history to wear knickers. She was also the first to be told to wear skirts instead.

Fun Fact: You can buy patterns for 1920s-style ladies’ knickers here.

For The Inquirer’s archive from March 12, 1922, you can click here.

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