Biographical Details on Boys' Clothing Styles: Ordinary People Alphabetical Page (Be-Bl)

Figure 1.-- This boy is Master M. E. Beckett, but at this time we know nothing about him or his family. We believe he probably came from a prominently Anglophone family in Montreal. He looks to be about 16 or 17 years of age. This boy is probably a fairly advanced high-schooler. I wonder if this could be a graduation protrait.

The HBC biography section is for people or families that have achieved some degree of notariety or fame. HBC readers in many cases have submitted family portraits. HBC has until now not added them to the biography section. We believe now that this is a mistake. Many of the HBC readers contributing family portraits can also provide details about the boy and him family. This background information help us to assess social trends and put the fashions involved in perspective. This is just why the biographical section is an important part of HBC. As a result, HBC has decided to create pages for these relatively unknown people, when some basic family data is available. Incidentally if you find a relative here, please do tell us somehing about him. Here we are listing these biographies alpahabetically to facilitate looking up individual names. The alphabdetical list is the primary data base in this section. While we have not persued geneolgical resreach on these individual, having the names and in many cases the loaction provide the potential to acquire more back ground information in the future which may provide additonal insights into the fashion and life style trends.

Beacon, Willie (United States, 1880s)

Here we see an American boy dressed in plaid. It is difficult to tell, however, if he is wearing a plaid dress or a kilt suit. The skirt has kilt styling so it may well be ailt suit. Note he is wearing what may be either pantalettes or knee pants. We are unsure how to describe them, nut they seem to be done in the same mterial as te dress/kilt suit. The boy is identified on the back as "Willie Beacon, Age 6 Yrs". His proper name was probably William Beacon. The studio is not identified. The portrait is undated, but was probably taken in the 1880s or early-90s. The cabinet card is serrated. The backdrop is unusual, unlike other senic backdrops we have seen. I'm not sure if this was a homemade backdrop or a modernistic style.

Beasley Family (United States, 1890)

We note a portrait of the Beasley family in 1890. The portrait was taken in Tennesse, but we are unsure just where. It looks to be a farm fmily or at least a family in a rural area. Presumably the portrit was taken by an itinerate photographer as the photograph was taken outside the family home. There are four sons and and three daughters. One of the daughters may be an aunt. The boys all wear suits. The jackets have what look like men styling, but with differently cut lapels. The younger boys wear kneepants and are barefoot. Notice all but the oldest boy has close cropped hair.

Bebe, Alan and Earl (United States, 1890s)

This cabinet card portrait from the S.R. Means studio in Geneva, Ohio shows broithers Alan and Earl Bebe. We can make out mucg of their double-nreasted suit, but we do not lsrge ruffled collsrs and floppy bows. The boys look about 8-12 years old. The portrait is undated, but the garments look like the 1890s.

Beckett, M. E. (Canada, 1899)

Here is a professionally taken photograph in Montreal. This one is of Master M.E. Beckett, taken in a Montreal studio on December 6, 1899. I would assume that young Master Beckett, a boy of about 16 or 17, hailed from a prominent Anglophone family in the city. He is very elegantly dressed in the style of a young adult except for the teenage knee pants and ribbed long stockings (black of course, as would have been standard). The suit is quite beautifully tailored and may have been bespoke (that is, made to order by one of the several Montreal tailoring establishments). It is in the Norfolk style with a belted front and additional strips of cloth down the front (and probably the back as well).

Bell, Jesse D. (United States, 1884)

This CDV portrait shows Jesse D. Bell at age 6 years. The studio is not identified, but we know the portrait was taken September 1, 1884. It was presumably a first day of school page. The portrait is interesting for a number of reasons. Jesse wears a collar-nuttoning suit without neckwear. It is a knee pants suit, but the knee pants are long, well below the knee. Also notice the striped long stockings, they were very common in the 1870s, but becoming less common by the mid-1880s. The cabinet card had becomethe principal photographic format in the 1870s and dominated the 1880s. This portrait shows that the CDV shows that the CDV had not disappeared. This one had not studio information. We had thouight that the lacked of printed cards was primarily seen in the 18690s as CDVs were just becomong established. But here we see a blank card in the 1880s.

Benedict, Warren and Carolyn (United States, 1929)

Warren and Carolyn Benedict had their portrait taken during 1929 in Crawsfordsville, Indiana. Carolyn was about 8 years old and her little brother Warren about 6. Carolyn wears a plaid dress with dark collar and cuffs, hightop shoes and unusually patterned long stockings which come to just above her knees. Her brother Warren wears a one-piece belted short pants suit with matching white collar and cuffs, long beige stockings of conventional length, and hightop shoes. The children appear to be wearing typical school-age clothes of the late 1920s and early 1930s, although the girl's patterned stockings look a bit anomalous.

Benjamin, Horace (United States, 1890s)

Here we have a portrait taken at the M. J. Brady, eisert's block, Petersburg, Ind. It is undated, but we would guess it was taken in the 1890s, although I am not sure about that. The boys name was Horace Benjamin. Along the right hand edge was written "etta Boy". I'm not sure what that means. Horace looks to be about 5 yeatrs old. He wears a collar buttoning jacket, perhaps with a little Norfolk styling, with a wide white collar, but no bow. What is interesting about the portrait is Horace's toy drum. We susperct that this is in part a reflection of the legendary status of Civil War drummer boys. Perhaps his grandfather was a Civil War soldier, or even a drummer boy.

Bennett Children (United States, 1910s)

This postcard back studio portrait shows the four Bennett children. On the back of the card the encription tells us, "Four sons of E. Augustus Bennett and Sadie Decker Bennett. BACK ROW Donald Bennett and Ralph Bennett. FRONT ROW Edward Bennett and Lowell Bennett”. All the boys are dressed in winter coats and hats. The boys' wear overcoats with double-breasted styling. Note the velvet on the collars. The two older boys wear flat caps. The younger boy wears a stocking cap with a pom. The little sister, Sadie, wears ‘baby’ style clothes. Notice the knitted leggings. There is no indication of where or when this portrait was taken. The AZO stamp box has four upward pointing tringles which date it to 1904-18. The boys knickers look more like the 1910s than the 1900s.

Bennett, Edwin L. (United States, 1916)

Here we see a portrait of Edwin L. Bennett. The writing on the back of the portrait is a little difficult to read so the middke initial may be a "T". We do not know where in America he was from. We do know that he was 7 years old, in fact 7 years 3 months. The portrait was taken October 7, 1916. He would have been in second grade if he attended school. Edwin has ringlet curls. This was by the 1910s not very common, especially for school age boys. We suspect that he was being tutored at home. We do not note boys wearing ringlet curls during the 1910s to school, even younger boys than Edwin. His clothing is a little more difficult to make out. He seems to be wearing a blouse, but we are unsure about the collar type.

Bently, Gordon M. (United States, 1879)

This CDV portrait shows a little boy wearing a heavily decorated dtress with embroidery work. The dress was a light color, but we do not know just what the color was. He is Gordon M. Bently. The portrait was taken right after his 4th birthday. He was 4 years and c6 days old. The portrait was taken September 29, 1879. The portrait was taken at the Hall Stidio in Great Barrington, Massachusettes. His hat is displayed beside him, but seems a strange stylecdor a boy not yet breeched. He wears long stockings with a very thin stripe.

Benton, Ralph (Germany/United States, 1896)

Ralph Benton was born in Germany on August 2, 1884. All we know is that he was born in Munich. We are not sure, however, that he was a German boy. Benton does not seem like a very German name. I'm not sure, but it seems more English. It is possible that he was the son of an American family living in Germany. Well to do Americans did travel to Germany and many studied there because of the prestige of German universities at the time. But he may have well been the member of a German immigrant family. Based on the way he is outfitted, the family seems to have been a rather affluent one. And some German immigrants had their names Americanized. We see Ralph in September 1896 having just turned 12 years old. Hos portrait was taken at Clinedinst, 1207 F Street, NW., Washington, D.C. This was the major shopping street in Washington. Ralph wears a traditional knee pants sailor suit with long stockings. His hair in done in ringlet curls. This was rather unusual both for German boys and 12 year old American boys. It means the family must have been affluent enough to have Ralph tutored at home.

Berkey, Maurice and Sylvan Bush (United States, 1900s)

This caninet card is of two little boys. We might have guessed they werre brothers, but written on the back is "Cousins Maurice Berkey and Sylvan Bush". Both boys are wearing fancy Fautleroy blouses, knee pants, and black long stockings. They also hold wide-brimmed gsts. The hats are different. One is a straw hat with a flat top while the other has a rounded crown. We are not sure anout the material. Also note the center hair parts. The studio is not identified. The portrait is undated, but the clothes and mount style suggest the 1900s.

Bernard, Freddy (United States, about 1910)

All we know for sure about the boy here is that his name was Freddy Bernard which was written on the back of the cabinet card. of course his true name could be Fred or Frederick. He looks to be about 12-years old. Freddy has the classic round wire rim spectacles of the day and wears what could be a military school uniform. This is what we thought at first, but we note that there are no badges or emblems of any kind. So we are not at all sure. The jacket is collar buttoning with two parallel rows of basically ornamental buttons. We have not seen jackets quite like this. The knee pants, long stockings, and high-top shoes were standard for the early-20th century. The portrait has Feddy's name on the back, but is undated. We would guess it was taken about 1910. The knee pants suggest the 1900s, but the lace-up shoes are more associated with the 1910s. A military school uniform might explain the knee pants in the 1910s. (School uniforms commonly lag a bit in being affected by fashion trends.) Also the cabinet card mount seems like the late-1900s or early 1910s. The portrait was taken at the Tucker Studios in Worcester, Masschusetts.

Bertels Boys (Germany, mid-1920s)

The Bertels family liced in Hamburg. Hermann Bertels had two soins aboyt 5-8 years old. We do not know their names or his wife's name. We do know that the family took a summer vacation along the Baltic coast in the mid-1920s and took an adveturesome seaplan ride, That must have been a real thrill for the boys. They are wearing matching sailor suits, but unlike their father, no caps.

Bett Boys (United States, 1890s)

This cabinet card portrait is identified as Mrs. Bett's children. The boys' first names are not given, but they look to be about 3-8 years of age. We see three boys dressed identically in white knee pants suits with dark lapels. We have not seen suits quite like this before. The fancy blouses give their outfits a Fauntleroy look and it was during the Fauntleroy craze. They all wear dark long stiokings. The cabinet vard is undated, but looks to be the 1890s. The very early-1900s is possible, but the mount style suggests the 1890s. The studio was Chas. E. Smith, Evanston, Illinois.

Bescoter, Dan (United States, about 1904-14)

We note a series of photgraphs of Dan Becoter who had younger and older brothers. We believe he was born about 1904, but we have no further information about Dan or his family. The boys were very close in age. We see Dan at about 3 years old wearing a button-on short pants outfit with three-quarter socks and sandals. Perhaps 2 years later we see all three boys playing in their back yard. They seem to live in a small town, but as the boys all hve trikes, we suspect that they were a comfortable middle class family. The younger boys, including little brother Bob, wear shorts and three-quarter socks while their older brother Carl wears knickers and long stockings. Finally we see Dan in studio portrait done as a cabinet card. Dan is wearing a flat cap and double-breasted knickes suit in 1914. The flat cap may match, but we are not sure. The long stockings do seem to match.

Bickle, Penn (England, 18??)

Here we have a photograph of Pinn Bickle. All we know about him was that he was convicted of a crime in England. We do not have any details about his crime or his sentence. Our information on how children were treated in the English criminal justice system is incompledte. We are unsure when facilities like borstals, sprecizalized facilities for children first zappeared. Many boys this age were deported to Australia or other colonies. More than likely it would have been something like theft. He looks about 12 or 13 years old. We are not sure when the photograph was taken, but would guess it was the late 19th century.

Bickersteth, Cyril (England, 1865)

Cyril Bickersteth was son of Bishop of Ripon. This was an important position in the Church of England, related to the Anglican/Episopal Church in America. The charmiong portrait was taken by Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland. Carroll was an enthusiastic amasteur photographer at a time that photography was rather complicated. His portrait of Cyril ws taken in 1865. He wears the popular cut-away jacket with striped detailing at the bottom of the jacket and on the cuffs. The suit has above-the-knee bloomer knickers which Cyril wearsith white long stockings. Its a little difficult to make out the shoes. Cyril has areay hobby horse on wheels. We are not sure how old he was, but looks to be about 5 years old.

Bienkowski, Ludwik (Poland, 1897/99- )

Municipal records in Poznań. Poland indicate that Ludwik, was born in Granica on August 25, 1900. Social Security records in the United States list Ludwik's date of birth as August 25, 1897. Newspaper obituaries implyBienkowski was born in the same year, 1897. However, United States naturalization papers document the year of his birth on one form as 1899 and the other as 1889. Given the numerous clerical errors and omissions in Louis's naturalization papers, either Louis or federal clerks were not adept at typing and these government records seem least accurate of all those examined.

Bierbrower, Frank (United States, 1880s?)

This cabinent card shows Frank Bierbrower. We are guessing at his first name, it is not very clearly written on the back of the card. He is wearing a long plaid dress which comes down to his nkles. I'm not sure hy many dresses were made so long. Perhaps so he could wear it a few years. He looks to be about 3-4 years old. Mother has chosen a plaid bow rather than a contrasting one. He was the son of Martha Brownback and Penrose Bierbrower. Frank was photographed at Lachman's Studio in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. The portrait is undated, but looks to have been taken in the 1880s.

Bigelow, Frank H. (United States, 1882)

Francis H. Bigelow was born on February 9, 1875 in Worcester, Massachusetts. It was Frank's 7th birthday. This 1882 CDV shows Frank wearing roller skates. CDVs were less common in America by the 1880s. In this case, the format was probably chosen because the portrait waa used a birthday party invitation and sent out to family and friends. Frank wears a skirted suit witb roller skates. The outfit probably would have been called a kilt suit, but there are not Scottish elements. Note the disgonal styling on the jacket. That was very common in the 1870s. The back of the CDV is an invitation to his birthday party at Worcester Skating Rink. This was appropriate, as his father, Horace Holly Bigelow was a developer of Roller Skating Rinks, among numerous other endeavors, including railroads and the White City Amusement Park. He was the financial backer of the Bullard Repeating Arms Company of Springfield, Massachusetts (c1883-91). The family money originally came from the shoe business, which Horace Holly learned from his father, and went on to invent automated machinery to press heels and nailing machines. He organized prison labor to meet the Federal army's demand for boots during the Civil War.

Birkin, Keith (United States, 1910s)

We believe that the boy here is Keith Birkin, although the writing is a little indestinct. He wears a rather unsual dark shirt almost like a jacket with two straps xlosing the top. We think he is wearing white short anys although it is a little indistinct. He also has white long stockings. He was 5 years old. It was a studio portrait done in a two-ply paper frame. The studio was Louis Weber in Salt Lake City, Utah. The portrait is undated, but the white stockings suggest the 1910s to us. The early-20s is possible.

Bisthos, Hans (United States, 1925- )

Hans was from a German immigrant family. The name Hans suggests that the family were recent immigrants. We know little about or his family. We do know that the family enrolled Hans in the youth dibision of the Friends of the New Germany, the NAZI front organization in the United States. We see here him on a camping trip during 1934.

Bittle, Joseph (United States, 1860s)

This CDV shows a boy named Joseph Bittle. The portrait is undated, but was clearly taken in the 1860s. The lack of a tax stamp suggests it was probably taken during or after 1866. Joseph wears a collar buttoning jacket suit with what looks like a stiff white collar and long pants. It looks rather like a light-collored suit. The suit is large for him. Presumably mother bought a large size that he could grow into. He is holding well used rounded crown hat. It looks too large for him. Joseph looks to be about 10 years old. The portrait was taken by Hoag & Quick in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Blaisdell, William Wesley (United States, about 1910- )

Here is a collection of items about a boy named William Wesley Blaisdell. He was born some time around 1910. He appears to be part of a Vaudaville family. His mother seems to have been a doting mother, perhaps a stage door mama, who has lovingly preserved locks of her son's long blond hair and his first baby tooth in a chocolate box labeled "Billy's Curls". Actually, keeping such momentos was not uncommon at the time. There is a touching scene that Elenor Roosevelt tells about her husband when after the death of his mother, he opened up a box with mememtos his mother kept of his childhood like a lock of hair abnd a hair bow. We see some of the vatious outfits he wore including rompers, a Fauntleroy outfit, a sailor outfit, and an above the knees knicker suit. There is a diary of the Vaudeville troop's travel--"our Trip with the Pollyanna Company". Mother kept the dairy of the trip, starting with September 16, 1918.

Blake, Francis James (Scotland, 1914)

This Scottish cabinet card shows Francis James Blake, wearing a Hihland kilt outfit. He cwears a Glengary cap, Eton collar, small bow tie, cut-away jacket with military cuffs, vest, sporan, and kilt. Note the spiral patterned knee socks and low-cut oxfords. He holds a pair of gloves. The back is a little difficult to read, but we believe the portrait was taken in 1914. The incription reads, "Francis James Blake, aged 9 years. Annie Blake his mother was mother's cousin-- Mrs. Alex (Isabel Robb) Chalmers my mother. Earl John Chalmersb4-20-74." The size of the cabinet is slightkly dufferent than the stabdard American cabinet card. It measures 3 1/2" wide by 5" tall, with a matte measuring 4 3/4" by 6 3/4", and is in excellent condition. The photographer is Pithie in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Blanchenburg, Ervin Emile (United States, 1905-10)

This portrait is undated, but was probably taken about 1905-10. The boy is Ervin Emile Blanchenburg. He wears a white lawn sailor tunic and has long ringlet curls. These tunic suits were very popular at the time, although ringlets for boys were beginning to become less common. He looks to be about 6-7 years old. The studio was Terikelson & Henry, San Francisco.

Blaney, John (United States, 1890s)

These children were taken for an outing to Blaney Beach in Swampscott, Massachusetts, we think in the 1890s. Now conventions at the time was to dress up, even when going to the beach, but we still see the boys wearing their kilt suits away from homeas well as the headwear worn with them (a sailor cap and a broad-brimmed straw hat). We thought that here we had two boys wearing kilt suits and a grl wearing a dress. And this is confirmed because we have their names: John Blaney, Norman Albree, and Marion Wardwell. The relationship between the children is unclear. The ages are not indicated, but we would guess about 4 years. The print was taken with a glass plate negative

Blandings, William (United States, 1934)

William blandings came from a wealthy Rhode Island family. We note several photographs of him and his older sister in 1934. The two seem close. They were about the same age and photographed together. He was known as "Billy". We know little about the family, but the fact the family had a chauffeur of course means that they were wealthy, We see Billy dressed both formally and for play. He wears a Eton short pants suit with beret. For play he has a swabie sailor cap.

Blasque, V.A. (United States, about 1870)

This New York City boy had ha CDV portrait taken at the Rockwood studio on Broadway. The name written on the back looks like V.A. Blasque, although the writing is a little difficult to read. The only other information I have on the origin of this CDV Photo is that It was with other photos from the mid- to late-19th century from photographic studios in Michigan, Washington D.C., and Colorado, with the surnames of Bailey, Stoddard, Mabons, and Thompson. The boy looks to be about 12-13 years old. We are not entirely sure when this portrait was taken. The military looking collar buttoning jacket was a popular style in the 1850s and 60s. And the CDV was a popular portrait format in the 1860s. The studio set, however looks more like the 1870s. Thus we would guess the portrait here was taken sometime around 1870. It could have been taken any time dyring the late-1860s or early-70s.

Blatt, Willie (United States, 1870s)

This cabinet card portrait shows a boy from Reading, Pennsylvania. The portrait by the New Tork Gallery is undated, but we would guess it was taken in the 1870s. The boy is identified as Willie Blatt. He wears a very plain long black dress. The only decoration is a long vertical column of buttons and a very small ruffled collar. The boy looks to be about 3-4 years old. It is a long dress with a hem down to the boy's calves.

Blewitt, Molly and Betty (England, 1920)

This is a photo postcard from an English studio. The only identification is the children's names--Molly and Betty Blewitt. The portrait is undated, but the HBC reader who contributed this believes that it was taken about 1920. Our reader writes, "Here are some toughts which are not so far from truth. The portrait was taken by an English professional photographer. It was taken without those landscape backgrounds which jam any attention from the subject. We are looking at two girls , probably twins, wearing sailor dresses which were so popular from in the early 20th century. The short lenght of the coats is characteristic of clothing in the 20s for women and also boys and girls. These coats were also worn by boys and the only difference telling the gender were the buttons overlapping at right instead of left for girls. The material is a heavy wool fabrics which suggests that the portrait was taken in winter but inside the studio.

Blood, Johnny (United States, 1860s)

We like to use nice clear photographs in our site, but sometimes we find interesing images that we use even though the image is of poor country. The boy in this studio CDV is Johhny Blood. It is not dated, but the CDB format, clothing and flag all uggest it was taken during or right after the Civil War. We cannot make out the studio and city, bit is clearly some where in the North. It isifficult to make out what he is wearing, but it looks like a light-colored knee pants suit and white long stockings, He seems to have a miltary sash with a star, unusuallt worn in the front rather than a the side. We think he is holding a canteen, but are not sure. Note the flag with the star fomatioin in the blue field.


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Created: November 4, 2002
Last updated: 4:36 PM 4/21/2017