Biographies: Molly and Betty Blewitt (England, 1920?)


Figure 1.--Here we see two little English girls wearing sailor caps and reefer jackets with leggings. The girls were Molly and Betty Blewitt. The portrait is undated, but we believe was taken about 1920. Notice how the girls are holding on to each other for security.

This is a photo postcard from an English studio. The only identification is the children's names--Molly and Betty Blewitt. The portrait is undated, but the HBC reader who contributed this believes that it was taken about 1920. Our reader writes, "Here are some toughts which are not so far from truth. The portrait was taken by an English professional photographer. It was taken without those landscape backgrounds which jam any attention from the subject. We are looking at two girls , probably twins, wearing sailor dresses which were so popular in the early 20th century. The short lenght of the coats is characteristic of clothing in the 20s for women and also boys and girls. These coats were also worn by boys and the only difference telling the gender were the buttons overlapping at right instead of left for girls. The material is a heavy wool fabrics which suggests that the portrait was taken in winter but inside the studio."

Family

The only identification is the children's names--Molly and Betty Blewitt. We are looking at two girls, probably twins. They look about 5 years old. We believe that the children probably came from a middle class family in comfortable circunstance. The leggings in particular suggest a degree of affluence.

Location

Weknow that these children are English. Coats like this were worn in many countries, including France, United States, and Canada.

Chronology

The portrait is undated, but the HBC reader who contributed this believes that it was taken about 1920. This picture is finally a good witness of the first half of the 20th century.

Portrait

The portrait was taken by an English professional photographer. It was taken without those landscape backgrounds which jam any attention from the subject.

Clothing

The girls are wearing sailor dresses and other sailor garments which were so popular in the early 20th century. Photographying these little girls inside was useful for HBC. It is rare to see children in winter dresses inside, because children were normlly photographed without their outer garments for formal portraits.

Caps

The girls wear sailor caps with theor sailor coats. Note onre has a cap tally--HMS Vengence. I'm not sure why the other girl doesn't have a talley.

Coats

The girls wear classic reefer jackets. The short lenght of the coats is characteristic of clothing in the 20s for women and also boys and girls. These coats were also worn by boys and the only difference telling the gender were the buttons overlapping at right instead of left for girls. The material is a heavy wool fabrics which suggests that the portrait was taken in winter but inside the studio. The girls would wear their coats for outings from fall to spring.

Leggings

The gaiters are also a good cue for guessing that it was the winter season because there were worn for cold weather. That is why I find it was a real great idea. The leather is really fine like gloves worn at that time. The problem with the gaiters like the ones shown here is that they were falling down because there were no garters to hold them in place. That is why that in the 30's and the 40's, horizontal straps, like round garters, where added upper the knee to firmly tighten the gaiters. There were two straps for toddlers and three for older kids until 10 years old.








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Created: 5:27 AM 11/1/2005
Last updated: 5:27 AM 11/1/2005