Caps, Canes, Pushball and Smokers: Student Life and Customs at the University of Michigan in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Introduction

This exhibit explores traditions and customs that became part of the student life experience at the University of Michigan during the 1800s and early 1900s.

Within the smaller student body at the University of Michigan then, certain customs and elements of dress distinguished students as members of their particular class or school. As shown in the following sections, headwear, canes and smoker meetings are just some examples of how these events and items became iconic displays of class pride as well as sources of rivalry between classes.

Sophomore Class of 1877 in front of University Hall, 1875

Sophomore Class of 1877 in front of University Hall, 1875.

From UM Photographs Vertical File.