Caroline Broomand Collection

Summary Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Broomand, Caroline.
Caroline Broomand Collection
0.75 Linear feet
Collection consists of one black and gold homemade table covering, three “K” stocking caps, and one freshman beanie.

Preferred Citation note

The Caroline Broomand Collection at the Emporia State University Archives, Emporia State University.

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Biographical/Historical note

The history of school caps is fairly vague. According to newspaper articles in the Bulletin, at least two types were utilized on campus circa 1915-1960. One was an all-school cap worn by boys and girls alike and designed to promote school loyalty and spirit. The other was a freshman beanie; regulations for when and where the beanie must be worn and punishments for rule violations accompanied this headgear. The design of the caps varied over the years. In 1916 a five-inch skull cap with a raven-black bill and button was worn; in 1917 the cap was made of black material with a gold “K”; in 1920 the cap was green with a gold button. Specifics as to when the wearing of school caps began and ended are unknown, although a picture caption in  The Emporia Gazette on September 15, 1981, states that Freshman beanies “went out of use” in the Fall of 1963.

Student Caps

In 1915 a group of 200 Kansas State Normal male students ordered caps that could be worn to football games with the intention of creating more visible school loyalty. The caps were made of black material with a neat, old gold “K” on the front, and were described as “nifty” by the November 15, 1915, Bulletin. Many of the female students liked the boys’ caps so well that they voted at the next pep meeting to wear an all-school cap. Because of a concern that the exact same cap would be less attractive on the females, a committee of three was elected to decide on an attractive tam or stocking cap. The price of the caps was to be 75¢ each.

Freshman Beanies

Members of the freshman class were informed early each semester about the rules for wearing beanies. Generally it involved freshmen purchasing the caps, then mandatorily wearing them when in certain locations during specified hours. Normally the caps would be worn most hours during the week with some time off on the weekends. Violators of the beanie rules were punished by the upperclassmen; this usually involved paddling with a wooden board, the dimensions of which were determined in the rules.

The first week of school, Fall 1916, some freshman held an “insurrection meeting.” Boldly they declared that they would not be wearing the mandatory beanie, a 5-inch skull cap with a raven black bill and a black button. This freshman group warned that they would paddle any freshman caught wearing beanies. The upperclassmen response was that “hickory paddles are cheap” and a reminder that Lake Wooster could be very cold at that time of year. A few days later the beanie rules went into effect, and approximately 100 freshmen were immediately identified as being in violation of the “K.S.N. Rules and Regulations Governing the Wearing of Freshman Caps.” Upperclassmen armed with paddles quickly found at least 20 of these individuals guilty in “paddle court,” sentenced them for their crime, and immediately executed punishment. Because of the insurrection movement all halls and classrooms were monitored. The first violations occurred on a Tuesday, and the upperclassmen’s paddles stayed busy through Wednesday. After Thursday and Friday’s punishments were meted out there were much fewer violations.

As school began in Fall 1917, the Bulletin reported that “fresh meat” season had opened and that “you could ‘ear their paddles chunkin’.”

In later years the “K” Club was in charge of establishing beanie rules and enforcing them. During the 1956/1957 school year new regulations were adopted that included non-corporal punishment, instead requiring certain hours of manual labor to be performed for violations.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of several articles that the donor found in a Hutchinson, Kansas, antique store. The largest item appears to be a handmade decorative table covering, created with gold and black embroidery thread and ribbon, and approximately 26 x 26 inches square. The creator and original intent of the item are unknown. Three stocking caps are also included. Two are made of black yarn with gold yarn trim and pom pom with a black felt “K” stitched to the front. The third cap is identical except that the colors are black and green. The final item is a freshman beanie which matches the description of beanies worn at K.S.N. in 1917. It is yellow with a small black bill and button. It has been written on with a marker. On the front of the cap are written the letters “KSTC,” “F??” (or Phi Delta Chi) and “F?F” (or Phi Espison Phi).

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Arrangement note

All items in 1 box.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives July 2005

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
(620) 341-6431

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Several articles about school caps and freshman beanies can be found in the Bulletin. The 1952  Sunflower contains a picture of students wearing freshman beanies. The September 15, 1981 issue of  The Emporia Gazette includes a picture of President King and several students wearing beanies.

Separated Materials note


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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Kansas State Normal School -- Students -- Clothing.
  • Kansas State Teachers College -- Students -- Clothing.


  • College freshmen -- Clothing -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • College students -- Clothing -- Kansas -- Emporia.
  • Students -- Kansas -- Emporia.

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Collection Inventory


Table covering, undated. 


2 gold and black “K” stocking caps, undated. 


1 green and black “K” stocking cap, undated. 


1 gold and black freshman beanie, undated.