A popular summer activity in America is the re-enaction of historical events and eras. Probably the most popular activity is the reinaction of Civil War battles. Men are the keenest participants as they like to dress up in realistically accurate costumes, including the weapons. The re-enactions are often done as a family activity with the wife and children also dressing up. Boys are often keen participants as bugle boys. While the Civil War reinactors are the most well known, there are also those interested in Revolutionary War reieactions.
Reenacting combines careful historical study and veneration for ones historical heritage with camping, family fun, and a dash of theater. It is a natural for many families. It is bot only fun, but an enriching experience. This perhaps explains why historical renactions are growing in popularity in Europe and America. In America, Civil War enaction is one of the fastest growing hobbies. Other activities with the participants dressing up in period costumes include old car rallies as well as parades of all descriptions, and a wide variety of local historical society productions.
These re-enactions are often most popular with women and girls, except fpr the Civil War reenactions. Women and girls seem to genuinely enjoy dressing up in the varied fashions of the day from bussels to bloomers. For the boys it is a bit diffrent. Younger boys also enjoy dressing up, especially if the costume is something exciting like a Civil War bugle boy. Some boys fashions like Buster Brown or Fauntleroy suits, kilts, or even sailor suits are a bit suspect for todays fashion conscious boy who feels much more at home in jeans. As a result, there is often a lack of boy volunteers for these events, but mon always appears capable to convince a few boys to participate.
The historical accuracy of these costumes is often lacking. The big exception to this are often closely monitored Civil War reenactions where monitors are careful to make sure that all aspects of the 20th century, such as wrist watches are removed.
Available infomations on these reinaction events include:
There may be some recreations involving ancient Greeks and Romans or even the pre-Christians Goths and Germanic people. HBC has little information, however, on such evemts.
Many European countries sponsor all kinds of medevil historical pagents. Unfortunately, HBC often does not have details on the particular festivals involved. There are countless such festivals. Cities and towns in countless Continental European towns and cities sponsor such festivals. Some of the celebrations date back decades if not centuries. Some depict the medieval era. They appear particularly, by popular in Germany and Italy, but are held in many other countries. We know of fewer such festivals in Britain.
Many European countries sponsor all kinds of medevil historical pagents. Unfortunately, HBC often does not have details on the particular festivals involved. There are countless such festivals. Cities and towns in countless Continental European towns and cities sponsor such festivals. One of the most popular eras appears to be the Renaissance. Some of the celebrations date back decades if not centuries. They appear particularl, by popular in Germany and Italy, but are held in many other countries. We know of fewer such festivals in Britain.
While generally not as popular as 19th century events, especially in America, there is considerable interest about the 18th century in several European countries. We know very few such events in America--ecept those focusing on the Revolutionary War.
The re-enactments mst common in America that are set in the 18th century are of course Revolutionary War re-enactments. While not nearlyb as popular as the Civil War re-enactments, there is also some interest in this period.
Boys in the Napoleonic Era wore the new skeleton suits and tunics. Producing replicas of these garments are a bit complicated as there are no modern garments that can easily be used for a really authentic look. Long pants can be used but they can not acurately depict the wearly 19th century skeleton suit without extensive alteration.
Reinactments of the early Victorian or Dickensian era are very popular in England. There seems to be less ibnterest in other countries. The interest in this era is no doubt because of the continuing popularity of Charles Dickens' novels and the wonderful characters he created. HBC has noted, however, many inacuracies in the costumes prepared for the boys participating.
The Civil War was perhaps the great crisis in the American Republic and thus western democratic society. (What would have happened to Britain and Western Europe during World War II, if an independent rascist South had existed in North America?) It is thus no accident that no period is more popular for historical re-enactmernts in America than the Civil War era. It was the most costly war America has ever engaged in, even more costly than World War II--despite the much smaller population. Modern weapons emerged, but the tactics from previous wars resulted in horendous losses. How Europeans view World War I is how Americans viewed the Civil War. Virtually no family in America was left untouched in a war that bitted brother gainst brother. The most popular boys' costume is of course the famed drummer boy who has been so tenderly depicted in books and film. There are also civilian costumes used in these events.
Turn of the century re-enactions are popular in auto ralies and in July 4 parades.
The 1920s or "Roraring 20s" is another favored decade. Clothes from the 20s are often worn for vintage car rallies.
Reenactment varies in popularity from country. We see it mostly in Americand Western Europe. There are arange of events which envolve reenactors in these countries. We are only beginnng to develop country pages. Important countries include America, England, France, Germany, and Italy. We hope to eventually add other countries. One page is available on Finland. We see some reenactors n Latin America, but they are mostly in parades and dabces rather than recreation events. We do not see much reenactment in the developing countries.
One of the most popular recreation events concern schools. Older people like to reminise about their school days and children like to know schools were like when their parents and older ancestors went to school. Many countries now maintain museums with historic school displays or even living history experiences for the children. Often schools will sponsor special events where the children dress up as a learning experience or to commemorate special events.
HBC has noted a number of individuals who offer information on reinactment events or preparing accurate reinactment costumes. Several sites offer garments that have been sewn to authentic period costumes. We will load information we have found about some of these sites or reader comments about these sites. Some reinactors wear vintage clothing, but especially for earlier periods this is not always advisable becaise some of these garrments can be quite valuable.
Vinatage clothing is actual histotorical clothing from different historical periods. These garments are wonderful historical pieces offering information on materials, sewing and manufacturing techniqies, dyes and colors, styles, sewing and manufacturing techniques, trims, and much more. Vintage clothing is usually used garments, but some garments were never worn. Colecting vintage clothing has become a popular hobby in recent years. There are of course many fascinating museum collections. Several firms offer vintage clothing over the internet.
Careful, this will exit you from Boys' Historical Clothes
Canadian fashions: Some interesting images on how Canadian children dressed at the turn of the century
Mom: Some interesting images on how mom dressed
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