Ordinary Individuals (The 1890s)


Figure 1.--This German boy is unidentified. We know he was from Berlin and his parents took him to a prestigious photographic studio located on Unter den Linden during 1895. The boy looks to be about 13 years old. He wears a collar buttoning suit with double=breasted styling. The boy's outfit is notable for his small collar. Large collars were much more common t the time. He also wears a small bow.

Younger boys still commonly wore dresses in the 1890s, although kilts suits were also very popular. At about mid-decade dresses behin to become less commom, although we are not entorely sure why. Tunics begin to become especially popular for younger boys by the end of the decade. The Fauntleroy suit was very popular for boys, especially in America. Ruffled collars begin to replace lace collars. The sailor suit was popular just about every where. Sailor hats were worn with both sailor and other outfits. Many boys wore collar buttoning suits, often with touches like large fancy collsrs and floppy bows. Most boys wore knee pans, both in Europe and America. American boys mostly wore long stockings, especially black stockings. Both socks and stockings were common in Europe. Most boys had short hair, but we seen some mostly younger boys with long hair. Americans boys often had long hair done in bangs.

Willie Beacon (United States, early-1890s)

Here we see an American boy dressed in plaid. It is difficult to tell, however, if he is wearing a plaid dress or a kilt suit. The skirt has kilt styling so it may well be a kilt suit or perhaps a kilt suit dress. Note he is wearing what may be either pantalettes or knee pants. We are unsure how to describe them, but they seem to be done in the same material as the dress/kilt suit. The boy is identified on the back as "Willie Beacon, Age 6 Yrs". His proper name was probably William Beacon. The studio is not identified. The portrait is undated, but was probably taken in the 1880s or early-90s. So an estimated dated of about 1890 seems reasonable. We note a small ruffeled collar, however, which seems more common earlier. It might be better described ss a ruff. Collars by 1890 tended to be much larger. The cabinet card is serrated. The backdrop is unusual, unlike other senic backdrops we have seen. I'm not sure if this was a homemade backdrop or a modernistic style.

Theodore Red Eagle (United States, 1890s)

This cabinet portrait shows Theodore Red Eagle dressed in his summer clothing. The portrait was taken by Oscar Drum at the Parsons Gallery in Pawhuska, Oklahoma Territory. It was numbered number 39 in pen on the front of the card mount. Numbers like that are unusual on cabinent cards. We suspect that the photographer made portraits of a school or some other group. There is a pen description on the back, "Theodore Red Eagle. That is the way Indian children drill in summer". This suggests he was in a school groop. The portrait is undated, but was probably taken in the 1890s. The Olkahoma Territiry was organized in 1890. And as the mount style was common before 1900, the portrait was taken in the 1890s. He looks to be wearing a kind of tunic without pants. We can't tell if there is a long clothing hanging down behinf him or if it is some kind of pole.

Owens, Roger and Rodreck (United States, 1890s)

These two boys are Rodger and Rodrick from were from Waupaca, Wisconsin. We think their last name was Ownens. The cabinent card portrait is undated, bit looks like the 1890s to us. At first glance we thought the boys were wearing wearing Fauntleroy kilt suits. But on closer examination they seem to be jacketed dresses. The difference is that rather than wearing a kilt skirt the boys seem to be wearing drsses. The top of the dresses is made to look like a vest, but the top seems to be sewed toether rather than separate garment. Kilt suits and dresses were still common for younger boys, especially in the early 1890s. Notice the boys are wearing striped long stockings, that was becomeing less common by the 1890s. On;y one of the boys wears ringlets. He looks to be a little older.

Elwell, Paul (United States, 1890s)

This cabinet card portrait shows Paul Elwell fom Kent, Ohio. The studio was McCartney. Paul wears a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit with a cut-away, but not open jacket. He has a large white collar and matching cuffs, but not particularly fancy. He has a large floppy bow that looks to be a pastel color and not white.The suit has knee pants which Paul wears with black long stockings. His hair is done in modest ringlets. The portrait is undated, but looks to have been taken in the 1890s.

Chapman Family (Unuted States, 1890s)

We notice a portrait from a family album kept by Kenneth S. Chapman.. Kenneth couild be one of these boys or perhaps they are his sons or other family members. The family was from Woodhaven, New York on Long Island. The boys look to be about 3-8 years old. The youngest boy wears a Fauntleroy kilt suit. The blouse has especially large front frills and looks to be worn with a white floppy bow, but with all that white it is difficult to tell. There are matching wrist cuffs that extends to the elbows. The kilt has especilly wide box pleats. The older boy wears a single-breasted knee pants suit. Rather than a tie or bow he seems to be wearing a dickey, unusual with a sack suit like the boy is wearing. He looks rather like a priest. The portrait is undated, but looks to habe been taken in the 1890s. The photograph is not a mounted cabinet card as was standard at the time, but a loose photograph.

Allen Children (United States, 1890)

This cabinet card was taken in 1890 by which time the Plsais Indians had been removed to the Indian Terrirory or other reservation. It was taken by F.L. Greene of Blancard, Iowa, They are the Allen children. The little boy in the middle sitting with his feet prominently dangling in front of the box is showing off his fine Plains Indian beaded moccasins. Not something you see everyday, particularly of American boys in the 1890s. Tops and sides of moccassins are heavily beaded and look new or nearly so. It was of course not unusual for little boys to wear a dress like outfit at this date. Nate how the hair styles indicate gender. We are not entirely sure what the boy's older sister on the right is earing around her neck. Old inked note on verso of photo reads "A merry chirstmas to Aunt Julia Dec 25, 1890. Jennie Alen Gillespie Newton & Sam Allen "

Princess Marguerite de Broglie and her Cousin Robert (France, 1890)

This portrait is of Princess Marguerite de Broglie and her cousin Robert. It was painted in 1890. The artist is Carolus Duran (1837-1917). Carolus-Duran was the clasical-styled name French painter Charles Auguste Émile Durand used. Marguerite was the daughter of Albert de Broglie, who was a prime minister. The title of Duc de Broglie was a peerage belonging to a family of Piedmontese (Italian). The family emigrated to France (1643). The founder of the family, François-Marie, was a soldier. He adopted the title of comte de Broglie in France. His grandson, also named François-Marie, was created duc de Broglie and a peer of France (1742). Junior members of the family use the the title prince de Broglie. The genealogical tree including marshals (military commanders), writers, a 'President du Conseil' (Prime Minister) and a Nobel prize-winning scientist. We're not sure about Robert's last name. He wears a black velvet jacket and contrasting vest (waistcoat) with what looks like a kilt skirt. He lace a small lace collar which is shaped like an Eton collar. Princess Marguerite wears a blue velvet dress. The children are clearly European. An American boy would have never worn three-quarter socks like this, but always long stockings. Robet has long,but uncurled hair.

Aldermann, Edgar (United States, probably 1890s)

Edgar Aldermann had his portrait taken in a Philadlphia, Pennsylvania studio. Theportrait is undated, but we would estimate the 1890s. He was 7½ years old. The e-Bay seller describes "Long curls, and fancy lace dress". Edgar certainly does have long ringlet curls. We believe, however that a blouse or tunic suit is more likely than a dress. It is not possible to be sure, however, as the portrait does not show the entire garment.

Waller, John Trueman Brooke (England, 1892)

John Trueman Brooke Waller was an English boy. We have a portrait of him taken when he was 6 years old during September 1892. The portrait was taken at East Croydon, a suburb of London. The photo is a wonderful example of an English boy elegantly attired in a velvet Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit nd golden long curls.

Freddie Deveraux (United States, 1892)

This cabinet card portrait shows Frederick G. Deveraux in 1892. Frederick was age 4 years and 3 months old. The portrait was taken February 29, 1892, a rare leap year portrait. Frederick who was probably called Fred or Fredie at that age what might be called a Fauntleroy kilt suit. He has what looks like a ruffled collar and matching wrist cuffs. The front of the blouse is rather plain. He has a large colored bow, perhaps a red bow. The jacket is a classic velvet cut-away jacket used in Fauntleroy suits. Freddie could have used the same jacket and blouse with knee psnts for a classic Fauntleroy suit. The kilt/skirt is a kind of plaid with a wrap over front panel, but is not pleated. The portrait is clear enough to mske out the texture of the fabric. He is posed with a boy-sized walking stick. The studio was Chas. F. Tupper, Binghamton, New York. The front is finished in white with embossed gold print. The back has an artistic photographer's logo and the enscription telling us about Fredie.

Fodd, Carl Gustof (United States, 1892?- )

We notice a portrait of a boy about 10 years old taken on November 27, 1902. He wears a very plainm but heavy dark wool sailor suit. There is very hard to see dark detailing on the sailor collar. There is adickey, but the boy's undershirt seems to show above the dickey. The lapel of the "V" collar front has a non-traditional shape. We know very little about the boy, but so often images are not dated, it is useful having a precisely dated image.

Stowell brothers (England, 1895)

A HBC reader recently acquired an old albumn--almost all cabinet cards. They mostly depict Robert Cuthbert Stowell and his brother Wilfrid who lived at 14 Darlaston Road, Wimbledon, London. Their father (Anthony Stowell) was Chief Inspector of the London & County Bank and was quite old when he became a father as he would have been 49 when Robert was born. At the time of the 1901 Census Robert was 13 years old and Wilfrid was 10 years old, so when these photos were taken in 1895 Robert would have been 7 and Wilfrid 4 years old.

Hode, Robert (United States, 1890s- )

HBC has no information about this American boy, Robert Hode. Some information, however, can be deduced about the boy and his outfit from the photograph. All that we know for sure about Robert is that he is an American. He looks to be about 10 years old. Robert is rather elegantly dressed. Given his hair style, it would seem likely that he was being tutored at home and probably came from an affluent family.

Mahla, Ernst and Wilhelm (Germany, 1890s)

We have two images of the Mahla brothers. We know that they are German boys, but we do no know where in Germany that the boys are from. Their names are Wilhelm and Ernst Mahla. Wilhelm was born on eptember 29, 1888 and Ernst January 12, 1890. he earlier photo of them was taken on April 15, 1894, the later one is undated. The first photo shows the boys weaing matching sailor suits. The second portrait shows the boys wearing German folk costumes. Hopefully that might help our German readers idntify where the boys were from.

Martin, James (United States, 1890s)

We know that James Martin was 5 years old when he was breeched. His adoring mother had two photographs taken, before and after the big event. Before breeching he wears a white summer frock with hairbows and after breeching the hair bow was removed and he wears a sailor suit. HBC dates the portrait to the 1890s, but can not be more specific.

Deeds, Frank E. (United States, 1895)

Here we see an American boy photographed with toys. We assume they were the studio props (especially the trike) and not his own toys. It does show, however, the types of toys popular in the 1890s. We see books, buggle, gun, trike, and top(out of the picture to the left). Notice the metal wheels and pedals. The boy was was Frank E. Deeds. He was 4 years, 4 months old. The cabinet card portrait was taken in February 1895. Put your cursor on the image for a closeup of the books and trike. The photographer ws C.L. Sweet in Springfield, Missouri.

Unidentified Boy (Germany, 1895)

This German boy is unidentified. We know he was from Berlin and his parents took him to a prestigious photographic studio located on Unter den Linden during 1895. The portrait is a CDV. The boy looks to be about 13 years old. He wears a collar buttoning suit with double=breasted styling. The material looks like flannel. The boy's outfit is notable for his small collar. Large collars were much more common at the time. He also wears a small bow.

Cain, Russell Emerson (United States, 1892- )

A portrait Russell Emerson Cain show him at the age of 5 in 1897 wearing a fancy Fauntleroy blouse with a kilt skirt kilt. He also had long uncurled hair. He did not come from a wealthy family. He later described his protrait, as "... when I was a little girl growing up ..." We are not sure when he was breeched, but another photograph at age 9 shows him playing baseball with his friends.

Keeling, Fred and Arthur (United States, 1896)

This cabinet card portrait was taken at the Rosch Portrait studio, 301 Main St. New Rochelle, New York. Handwritten on the back is, "About 1896-My father Frederick Jennings Keeling. My brother Fred and me (Arthur)." The boys wear Civil War uniforms> My guess is that they really liked their uniforms. Their father looks very elegant. This and the fact he could afford fancy uniforms for the boys suggest to us that he was quite well off. We are not sure about the occassion. Possibly it was for the 30th anniversary of the Civil War. Or perhaps they are involved in election year hoopla. The father looks a bit too young to be a veteran and does not wear any badges, but he could have been a drummer boy.

White, Goddard (United States, 1897)

Goddard White was photpgraphed in the A. Marshall Boston studio in March, 1897. He was 8 year, 9 months old. He wears a classic summer light-colored sailor suit, probably light blue. The suit was a kneepants sailor suit with which he wears dark stockings and what looking like patent strap shoes. He is pictured with his violon. Perhaps he was about to play in a reciatal.

McSwain, Laurence (United States, 1897)

We note a portrait of Laurence McSwain in 1897. Laurence was from Boone County, Kentucky. He looks to be about 8 years old. Laurence wear a Norfolk suit with knee pants. The jacket has verical vents, but no belt. He has alarge white collar and floppy bow. A watch fob as been added to the jacket. He has black long stockings and hight-top shoes. Laurence holds a rounded-crown hat with a flexable brim. He has shot, slicked down hair.

Chapman, Bertie (England, 1898)

A HBC reader has submitted a charming portrait of Bertie Chapman. We believe that he may be English and his portrait was taken in 1898. He wears long curls done in pig tails with a colored velvet hair bow. His outfit is all white, including his lace trimed dressm spcks, and shoes. Colored is added by a sash. He was nearly 3 years old when the portrait was taken. I am not sure if the portrait was taken at home or in a photographic studio.

Walkley, Ted (England, 1886- )

The boy here is Ted Walkley. We believe he is an altar boy rather than a chorister. The cabinent card portrait was made by Hellis & Son. This was a concern with studios located throughout London. So we know Ted was from London, but we do not know where. Ted was born in 1886 and was 13 years old when the portrait was taken in 1899.

Morris, Tom (England, 1886- )

The boy here is Tom Morris. We believe he is an altar boy rather than a chorister. The cabinent card portrait was made by Hellis & Son. This was a concern with studios located throughout London. So we know Tom was from London, but we do not know where. Tom was born in 1886 and was 12 years old when the portrait was taken in 1899.

John Smith (England, 1898)

We note quite a number of studio portraits taken at English seaside resorts with appropriate backdrops. A good example is John Smith at Blackpool in 1898 with an elaborate donkey and cart get up. John wears a broad-brimmed sailor hat with what looks like a white dress with a large square collat, but it is a little difficicult to make out the details of the garment. There is a great backdrop with the beach and recognizable tower.

Clulow, Stanley (England, 1899)

This portrait of Stanley Clulow (writing indestinct) shows him on his hobby horse from the balcony of his home. This is not a studio portrait, but one taken at home. The location is not indicated, but the background suggests England more thn America. American streets tend to be straight while the impressive curved street background lookslike scenes we have seen in London and other English cities. It looks rather like a scene out of "Peter Pan". The portrait is surely eith an American or English scene because the date "Sept 1899" is written in English. The image is a little unclear, but Stanley looks to be wearing a kilt suit with a tam. It seems to be a sailor kiltsuit. Note that the boy wears white socks rather than long stockings which American boys almot always wore with their kilt suits.

Bracke, Emil (Germany, 1899)

This German school boy was photographed in the sailor suit that he wore to school. He wears a sailor hat that looks rather like an English boater hat. His dark sailor suit buttons at the front and the "V" collar seems to have three emroidered dark stripes. The suit has kneepants which he wears with lighter colored long stockings. The boy has an elaborately emroidered white dickey, but I can't make out what the design is. I'm not sure how his hair was cit, but it looks rather close cropped. His name was Emil Brack. We do not know a great deal about Emil, except where the portrait was taken. He looks to be well outfitted for school so we assumed his family lived in comfortable circumstannces. Emil looks like a younger primary school boy, but it probably was not his first day of school.

Ross Brothers (Canada, 1899)

Another nice professional protrait from Montreal (taken June 30, 1899, at one of the photographic studios in the city). The photo is simply entitled "Mrs. Ross's sons, aged 12 and 15" so we unfortunately do not have their Christian names. Both boys are very beautifully dressed for a formal ortrait with elegantly cut three-piece suits with waistcoats, white shirts and ties. Notice the boutonieres in their lapels. The suits were age greaded with the younger brother wearing kneepants and the older brother long pants.







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Created: 7:18 PM 12/27/2006
Last updated: 10:13 PM 12/5/2011