Figure 1.--This cabinent portrait of Albert Staebler was taken in Clevland, Ohio. It is undated, but looks to us as if it was taken about 1897. He wears a suit with a long jacket and vest. He looks to be about 13-years old. Note the rosary and what looks like a homberg hat. The rosary meant that Albert was Catholic. This was probably his Confirmation portrait.

Albert Staebler (United States, 1890s)

This cabinent portrait of Albert Staebler was taken in Clevland, Ohio. It is undated, but was probably taken about 1897. Here the whicker furniture is a clue. Whicker furniture appears after the turn-of-the 20th century, but most cabinent card portraits were taken before the turn of the century. Albert wears a suit with a long jacket and vest. He looks to be about 13-years old. Note the rosary and what looks like a homberg hat. The rosary meaning that Albert was Catholic. Until after the Civil War, except for the Irish, there were relatively few Catholics in America. Beginning in the 1870s and especially the 80s, very large numbers of European s began emigrating to America, many were from Catholic countries. Cleveland was one of the growing industrial cities that attracted immigrants seeking jobs. A reader writes, "I found that you have a photo of my Great Grand Uncle on your website… Albert Staebler of Cleveland, Ohio. He was born 1884. I should like to note, he is not German. The family hails from Alsace, France and we are Catholic as you surmised." We thought Albert was probably from Germany. At the time Alsace was part of Germany, but Alsatians at the time had mixed feelings about Germany and France and spoke Alsatian--a dialect closer to German than France. After the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) many French families left Alsace or were forced to leave by the Germans.

Albert's Family in Alsace

We at first thought Albert was probably from Germany. At the time this portrait was taken, Alsace was part of Germany, but Alsatians at the time had mixed feelings about Germany and France and spoke Alsatian--a dialect closer to German than French. Albert's family was from Strasbourg area of Alsace. Albert's family was strongly French. Alsace for several centuries had been part of France. The older members of our family (pre-World war II) that remain in France still do.

Franco Prussian War (1870-71)

The defeat of Louis Napoleon by the Prussians in 1870 brought the Third Republic to power in 1871. One of the reforms they introduced were smocks for schoolboys, part of the new Republican ideal to reduce the influence of class and privlidge. The two northeastern provinces of France, Alsace-Loraine, were ceded to Germany in the Treaty of Frankfurt. These were both border provinces and there were already large numbers of German-speakers in both provinces, especially Alsace. The population was, however, largely French orientened--even some of the German families. The loss to France was so heart-felt in France that it almost made another war inevitable. One impact on boys' clothing was that when the Third Republic in 1871 mandated smocks in French schools, Alsace-Loraine were no longer part of France.

Emigration (1872)

After the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) many French families left Alsace or were forced to leave by the Germans. We do not have details on the specific circustances of Albert's family. We are not sure of the reason for their departure from Alsace, however, it is quite possible the German takeover was the reason. Our family is staunchly French. The patriarchs of the family never had a kind word about the germans! We do know that they departed from LeHavre, France on the ship Helvetica". They arrived in New York (June 27, 1872). Judgeing from Albert's affluent appearance, the family apparently did quite well.

Albert's Prents

Albert's parents (Michael Staebler and Caroline Warner Staebler) were stauncly French, although they primarily spoke Alsatian. Albert's parents and many others of the time believed that once you came to America, you were American and spoke English. The children born in the United States were never taught Alsatian or French and the older children born in Alsace (while it was still part of France) also spoke nothing but English once they arrived in the United States.

The Children

Albert had seven brothers and sisters of which he was the youngest. Albert was born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 17, 1884 and spoke English.

Confirmation Portrait (about 1897)

This cabinent portrait of Albert Staebler was taken in Clevland, Ohio. It is undated, but looks to us as if it was taken in the 1890s. Here the whicker furniture is a clue. Whicker furniture appears after the turn-of-the 20th century, but most cabinent card portraits were taken before the turn of the century. He wears a suit with a long jacket and vest. He looks to be about 13-years old. Note the rosary and what looks like a homberg hat. The rosary meaning that Albert was Catholic. Until after the Civil War, except for the Irish, there were relatively few Catholics in America. Beginning in the 1870s and especially the 80s, very large numbers of European s began emigrating to America, many were from Catholic countries. Cleveland was one of the growing industrial cities that attracted immigrants seeking jobs. A reader writes, "I found that you have a photo of my Great Grand Uncle on your website… Albert Staebler of Cleveland, Ohio. He was born 1884. I should like to note, he is not German. The family hails from Alsace, France and we are Catholic as you surmised." This means that Albrt's portrait here was taken about 1897.

Adult Life

When Albert grew up, he became a vaudeville performer. His stage name was "Bert Morton". He died in Los Angeles in 1965.

Sources

Pfaff, Anne Marie. Email message, October 2, 2008.








HBC





Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main S-T ordinary bio page]
[Return to the Main ordinary bio page]
[Hair styles] [Hats] [Collar bows] [Collars] [Suits] [Vests] [Long pants]
[Confirmation]



Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]





Created: 4:02 AM 10/31/2007
Last edited: 4:36 PM 10/6/2008