Hailing from Alpena, Michigan, Wallace Prouty Taber was a scientific department student in the Phillips Academy class of 1912. In his scrapbook, Taber displayed his school spirit and passion for athletics through the collection of newspaper clippings, photographs, tickets, and advertisements. Taber particularly focused on recording his freshman and sophomore years at Phillips Academy during the years 1910 and 1911. Taber included little about himself within the scrapbook, but his repeated absence from the yearbook and the lack of relevant clippings suggests he was not involved with clubs on campus, choosing to focus on watching Andover’s athletic competitions instead.
The exterior of the book is a deep Andover blue with a gold and white Phillips Academy insignia centering the otherwise unmarked exterior. The binding strings at the left side of the book are worn with age, but the book’s cover remains otherwise intact. Likewise, Taber generally planned the pages of his scrapbook well and the contents remain largely undamaged. Most of his newspaper clippings are arranged well and thoroughly glued down so few remain loose. Taber made notes under some of the images and clippings, giving names to the pictured friends and classmates but never including himself. Although the contents are somewhat disorganized, the contents of the scrapbook are arranged chronologically with the exception of the mass of newspaper headlines glued into the final few pages of the book.
Although no evidence suggests Wallace Taber played on any of Andover’s athletic teams, he meticulously recorded scores for football, hockey, track and basketball in his scrapbook. As evidenced by each team’s schedule and his numerous entrance tickets glued into his scrapbook, Taber regularly attended Phillips Academy games against a variety of opponents. Taber also included photographs from some of the most significant games within his scrapbook, most notably an action shot of the 1909 Andover-Exeter football game, which the printed caption notes Andover won 3-0. Taber also incorporated articles relating to Phillips Academy’s upcoming games and recording Andover’s athletic performances against collegiate and prep school rivals like Exeter, Cushing, Tufts, Yale, Harvard, and Dartmouth.
Within his scrapbook, Taber also glued voting ballots for the managerial position of a variety of Andover athletic teams: soccer, baseball, hockey, basketball, and tennis. Although it is unlikely Taber played on each (or any) of the teams, his inclusion of the ballots shows that he was good friends with the team members or able to get directly involved despite not playing himself.
Taber included the Phillips Academy “School Songs” and a book detailing the school’s customs and traditions in his scrapbook, further evidence of his apparent school spirit. Below a clipped newspaper headline proclaiming “Exeter Expects to Win Annual Game with Phillips Andover This Year,” Taber remarked, “Oh! What nerve.” Below the article, Taber also chose to include a train ticket from Exeter to Andover, presumably displaying his attendance at the 1909 Andover-Exeter football match, played at Exeter.
Although passionate about sports, Wallace Taber seemingly did little to extend his passion to academics. Among his other school forms, Taber included his Drawing, English, Geometry, German and Physics grades from the fall term of his sophomore year. Respectively, Tabor received a C-, D-, E-, D and a C. Since an E- (scoring below 60%) qualified as a failing grade, the Math department forced Taber to repeat geometry. Despite his lackluster grades, Taber showed some passion in the German language, including in his scrapbook two of his homework assignments in addition to the 1907 and 1910 German entrance exams to Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School.
Another common theme of Taber’s scrapbook was his inclusion of advertising and receipts of the products he purchased. One receipt describes his order of shoes from New Haven, another advertisement touts fine men’s suits in Boston.
Although newspaper clippings make up the majority of Taber’s scrapbook, only one article references current events outside athletics.
by Cameron Freeman, class of 2019
Scrapbook Box 96