Mittendorff, Herta, 1924-1936

Herta Mittendorff was a member of the graduating class of 1925 of Abbot Academy. Mittendorff ventured from her home at 20 Deering Street in Portland, Maine to attend Abbot Academy in 1924. Within the scrapbook, Mittendorff includes letters, programs, and other items that defined her journey at Abbot are in place chronologically. Items such as a cigarette, a piece of her dress, and a fake flower exemplify the physical objects that were in her life on a day-to-day basis.

Her scrapbook spans from 1924 to 1936. Included in the scrapbook are many different Abbot Academy paraphernalia. From a letter to her home thanking her for her donations, to an invitation to a Halloween dinner, it is clear that Mittendortt valued her time at Abbot. At the start of the scrapbook, there is an ‘Autograph’ section, which contains pages of signatures from her peers.

Drama and acting were a big part of Mittendorff’s life. She was actively involved in different productions while at Abbot. On December 2, 1924, she played Captain Walmers in “The Holy Tree Inn” at the Abbot Dramatic Society. She played on the hockey team, evidenced by the pamphlet for Bradford Day at Andover on November 3, 1924. Mittendorff included playbills from plays that she attended even after her time at time at Abbott as well as an athletic schedule of Phillips Academy, which competed against Harvard, Yale and other universities.

In addition to playbills, letters, newspaper clippings, and telegrams line the pages of her scrapbook. The telegrams and letters provided insight into Mittendorff’s personal life, and newspaper clippings show what was going on in American society at the time. Mittendorff also included her grades, which were quite lackluster. She was not a stellar student, collecting many C’s, D’s, and E’s (everything below a 60 percent) in her time at Abbot Academy.
Throughout the lifespan of the scrapbook, its exterior has deteriorated. The exterior of the album has lost its tone of blue and is now a faded blue/gray. The upper right corner of the album is green and brown from the dirt it has acquired over the years. Most of the pages are intact though the album needs to be handled with care due to the fact that most objects are heavy and the paper is fragile. The first page has been ripped from its seam.

Scrapbook Box 51

by Cameron Kerry, class of 2016