Figure 1.-- The portrait here shows Mrs. J. B. Fowler's children, aged about 4 and 9. The photograph was taken in November, 1927, at a studio in Montreal. The younger child wears a romper outfit. Te older boy wears a sweater and tie with shorts and longstockings. The tie may be a school tie.

J.B. Fowler Children (Canada, 1927)

A HBC reader has provided a portrait of two Montreal children in 1927. The portrait here shows Mrs. J. B. Fowler's children, aged about 4 and 9. Unfortunastely we have no specific information about the family. The photograph was taken in November, 1927, at a studio in Montreal. The portrait provides some interesting insights on Canadian boys clothing during the 1920s. The portrait was taken in Montreal, but we think this was an English speaking family.

Family

All we know about this familt is that they were the children of J.B. Fowler.

Chronology

We do know that this professional portrait was taken in 1927.

Location

We also know that the portrait was taken in Montreal, Quebec. Montreal is the center of French Canada. There were, however, English speaking Canadians in Montreal. Fowler seems an English name. A reader agrees, "The name Fowler does suggest an Anglophone family. I agree about the English look. But even Anglophone boys in Quebec appear to have worn long stockings because this was so common in the province generally.

Younger Boy

Our reader is not sure whether the child on the left wearing a one-piece romper outfit in white is a boy or a girl--although our reader suspects that he is a boy. HBC agrees that the child is a boy. We note both boys and girls wearing similar styled rimpers in the 1910s, but in the 1920s, esoecia;lly the late 20s, gender specific styles had evolved. Interesting the romper suit here has cut-away sleeves, eather like the shortalls outfits that were evolving at the time. The child wears some kind of short-sleece shirt under the romper outfit.

Older Boy

The school-age boy on the right seems to be dressed in typical schoolboy clothes, although, since the photograph is a professional one, he may be a bit more dressed up than usual. Notice that he wears a light colored woolen pullover sweater, perhaps beige or maybe even white, with knitted cuffs and waist. A HBC reader believes that he is wearing a shirt with a very wide collar that spreads out over his shoulders. HBC tends to think that the collar is part of the sweater. Notice the color consistency and the way the collar fits around the neck. This looks to us more like a sweater than a shirt. His very narrow school tie (probably with the stripes in the color of the school) is quite thin and, somewhat unusually, worn outside the sweater. He wears rather long shorts with nicely pressed creases in them, and long black stockings. Long stockings were very common in Quebec during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, partly because of the conservatism of the culture and partly because winters are cold in Quebec. The outfit here except for the long stockings seems rather English. Our reader writes, "I think you may be correct about the sweater and the collar being one garment--but have you ever seen such a sweater worn with a tie? Maybe the tie worn outside supports your assumption that the collar is part of the sweater. The tie would have to be worn outside if there were no shirt underneath." Yes we have noted British boys wearing ties with collars at a few schools, but never with ties like this.







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Created: 10:36 PM 8/13/2005
Last edited: 10:36 PM 8/13/2005