Archive photo, Chattanooga News-Free Press via This 1949 photo, shot by newspaper photographer Delmont Wilson, shows dancers from the Helen Jones School of Dance in Chattanooga.

Can you say "teeny, tiny baby boomers" three times, fast?

This cute photo of tiny dancers was published on the front page of the Chattanooga News-Free Press on Friday, May 27, 1949.

Assuming these girls in frilly dresses and fancy bonnets were born in the mid-1940s, they would be in their middle- to late-70s today.

The photo, taken by newspaper photographer Delmont Wilson, is part of a collection of vintage newspaper images appearing on the website

"This is one of those 'saved from the trash' negatives that was fortunately scanned," said Sam Hall, curator of the website.

The caption on the photo in the News-Free Press back in 1949 reveals that these dancers were students at the Helen Jones School of Dance, which, in later years, was connected to the Cadek Conservatory at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

In this photo, the young dancers were preparing to perform the "French Dolls Dance" as part of the school's annual recital at Central High School, according to the caption.

Students in the photo are, front row left to right, Gail Bidwell, Bonnie Cain, Marilyn Frank, Barbara Cain and Rose Ann Davis. Second row, from left, Doris Effron, Ann Austin, Grace Moore, Linda Morris, Linda Zimmerman and Rosa Wright.

Launched by history enthusiast Sam Hall in 2014, is maintained to present historical images in the highest resolution available.

If you have photo negatives, glass plate negatives or original nondigital prints taken in the Chattanooga area, contact Sam Hall for information on how they may qualify to be digitized and preserved at no charge.



A 1974 newspaper obituary for Helen Jones Patterson notes that she was a native of Chattanooga and a member of both the Dancing Masters of America and the Chicago National Dance Masters. She was also a member of the Cadek Conservatory, the obit said.

Her dance school was mentioned in Chattanooga's newspapers from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. The last mention of the Helen Jones School of Dance was in 1972, announcing a performance scheduled for the Read House hotel in downtown Chattanooga.

If you know someone in this photo, please write and share your memories with Mark Kennedy at to add context to the online version of this report.

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Contact Mark Kennedy at or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPcolumnist.