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A Century of Back-to-School Names

September 17, 2015 Pamela Redmond
baby names 1945

by Pamela Redmond and Abby Sandel
As a new school year gets underway, we survey a century of names emblematic of each decade. The path from Old School John and Mary to today’s Anakin and Zendaya has not been a straight or direct one, but it’s certainly been educational.


1915: The (Old) School of Baby Names

A century ago, compulsory education was finally becoming the law of the land in the US, with John and Mary the undisputed top names for children. John would remain Number 1 through 1923; Mary, until 1946. But the more interesting Class of 1915 names are a mix of traditional names reappearing today, such as Frances, Evelyn, and Ruth, Charles, Arthur, and George, along with others still hovering in fashion limbo: Helen, Irene, Frank, Howard, and Harold. The class pictured here is getting instruction in nose-blowing.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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