Figure 1.--In America both pre-teen and teen-age boys wore knee pants during the 1900s. Not all teenagers wore them, but it was very common. They were normally worn with long stockings. The boys here look to be about 8 and 13 years old. We would guess here that the boys were photographed on Sunday just before church. They seem to have on their best long stocking.
In America both pre-teen and teen-age boys wore knee pants during the 1900s. They were mostly worn with long stockings, although many boys went barefoot in the summer. The boys here are a good example. Unfortunately they are unidentified. We are not entirely sure about the date of the photograph here. The kneepants suggest that it was taken in the early 20th century. The shirrt rather than blouse and the necktie the younger boy is wearing suggests to us that it was probably taken in the 1910s rather yhan the 1900s. Unfortunately we have no idea where in America it was taken. Not all teenagers wore them, but it was very common. They were normally worn with long stockings. The boys here look to be about 8 and 13 years old. We would guess here that the boys were photographed on Sunday just before church. They seem to have on their best long stocking and other best clothes. Notice the round badge on the older boy's lapel. We are guessing that it has something to do with church.
There is no way of telling if they are dressed up for church, but we believe that is most likekly. Readers have commented on the apparent holes in the stockings. Some photographic images on HBC are not easy to assess in terms of holes. Some obviously show holes. It is less clear in other images. The image here is a good example (figure 1). A reader writes, "It appears that the stocking clasps are very visible on the younger boy and possibly just visible on the older boy's right leg, it could also be the lack of quality on the photo."
Another reader writes, "Does the younger boy on the left have holes in his stockings (figure 1)? Or are there this just imperfections in the photo? Looks rather like holes to me." I rather thought that they were the supporter attachment tabs, but it is difficult to tell. Our reader writes, "I disagree with your comment about the white spots that look a bit like holes being the clasps of the hose supporters. Notice their placement--too close to the knee cap to be garters showing. The older boy is clearly wearing supporters also (because his stockings are smoothly and neatly held up), but the tops of his stockings come well up under the hem of his knee pants so that the supporter clasps are hidden, which is the way it was supposed to be when children were properly dressed. This would presumably be the case also with his
younger brother, especially in a formal portrait. Notice also the photo of Charles Spencer (about 1905), whose supporters show very clearly under his knee pants but are not positioned like the white spots in the first photograph. The Spencer photo is just a snap shot of the two children taken by the father, who was an amateur photographer, and who apparently wasn't bothering about formal details."
After some further consideration, our reader has provided some additionl thoughts, "I'm now convinced that the white spots are just some sort of damage to the photograph.
Another reader writes, "We have several accounts concerning stockings not being long enough so the tops of the stockings just reached the hem of the trousers so that the stocking supporter clasps were visible which was embarrassing at the time. Why wouldn't this image reflect that fact? I am not saying it definitely does, but it may be." I think our other reader is saying that the little white spots are not positioned right to be the supporter clasps. Also on one leg there are three spots clustered together which would not be the clasp.
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