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HBC Assistance Conventions

Figure 1.--For decades, the primary dress cap for boys was the sailor hat and cap in a variety of different styles. This American boy was probably photographed about 1905.

We at HBC are pleased to assist in research efforts. There is no charge for this. We may not know the answer, but if we do not--we want to note it as a topic that needs to be persued. We caution that there is one requirement to resceive a respmse from HBC--basic civility. Incredably some HBC readers, mostly students, are upset that HBC can not provide all the information that they need for a school assignent. HBC has one response to rude requests--we trash them without responding.

HBC Status

HBC as we explained in the our introduction is not a finished work. We do not pretend to have gathered all the available information on the subject of boys' clothing. We have only begun to collect information on the topic. There are huge gaps in our understanding of boys' fashions that we have not yet addressed. We are not a large, well funded research team with a huge staff. Rather while HBC does pursue research on its own, one of our principal sources of information is the material submitted by readers. We are very interested in reader comments. We find, however, that some of the most critical readers about gaps in HBC are readers who have no intention of helping to build the site and contribute information to fill such gaps. Of course we have little interest in hearing from such surfers.


The large proportion of reader comments are helpful, coherent, and civil. For a sampling of such comments, go to the reader comments page. HBC has, however received some quite amazing comments from readers. One classic example was this one.

"I was searching for boys Victorian hats so i went on your website! I scrolled down to the hats and caps section and thought how crap! you didn't have any selection of hats or even any hats with had when they were made, where it is from or what the hat (s) were used for! So now i dont have any boys hats for my homework so please think about what i have wrote and in the future can you change your site and even maybe put woman's and men's hats! witch are Victorian!"

We will ignore the misspelled words and the poor grammar as we make enough of those mistakes ourselves. We are apauled, however, with the crudness of the message and the fact that the reader would complain about the lack of information on our site. She blames HBC because she was unable to complete her school assignment! Actually there is a great deal of information about both caps and hats, if thge reader had sent a civil request, we would have helped her find it. The rudeness in complaining that our site does nor satisfy all her needs is startling. Our resonse is simply to ignore such messages as the person who sent is no doubt has no idea of how rude she was and probably could care less.


"I read the comment from the student unable to complete her homework assignment due to alleged lack of information in HBC's pages. Why she didn't blame the public library, the Internet, and the World Wide Web, too, is a mystery." -- John

Of course! You don't insult a group which has assembled information, in this case more information than virtaully any site on the interbnet. Note that she not only is upset that we do not have information on boys' clothing, but information on adult clothing as well which HBC does not even cover. HBC doesn't view her message, however, as a mystery. Since opening HBC we have met many wonderful individuals who have enjoyed HBC and made contributions large and small. We have also met individuals who lack the most minimal concept of civility and manners. We thought that the young lady quoted above was virually beyond belief. The simple fact is that she is a very rude individual who has no concept of civil behavior or even conception of her school assignment. Teachers give such assignments primarily to help students develop research skills. Obviously insulting anyone who does not immediately provide all the information you need is not what the girl's teacher had in mind. Strangely the young lady even failed to find the extensive information that HBC has developed on hats and caps.

Christopher Wagner

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Created: April 23, 2001
Last updated: April 24, 2001