*** biographical details on boys clothing: ordinary people alphabetical pages U-V

Biographical Details on Boys' Clothing Styles: Ordinary People Alphabetical Pages (U-V)

Figure 1.--Gordon Voelker wears what look like long-cut flannel short pants. His pants have belt loops and a belt. But this seems to be oirnamental. The pants are button style, held up by buttons on the short. You can see the buttons showing just above the belt. He wears dark-tan long stockings with what at first look like T-strap sandals. The sandals were a little unusual in America, although very common in England. But on closer examination look like two-tone Oxfords--brown and black perhaps. And I think I detect shoe laces. Such shoes would be more likely than the English-style sandals.

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.


Uchlein, Stephen S. (United States, about 1869)

A handwritten inscription on the back of the CDV here says: "Stephen S Uchlein - died Tuesday August 9th 1870 aged 16 yrs 3 mo". In the portrait he looks about 14-15 years old so we would guess that the photograph was taken about 1868-69. I'm not sure what kind of mame Uchlein is, but it seems German. The photographer is E M van Aken of Lowville, New York. Clearly he is being photographed with a new suit. What is interesting here is the fact all these clothes are clearly way too big for him. That was not uncommon for younger boys, but somewhat less common for older boys like Stephen here. Clearly mother was going to make sure he got some good out of his new suit.

Uferte, Raymond and Russel (United States, 1921)

This Artura postcard back portrait shows 14-years old Raymond Ulferte with his baby brother Russel. We are not sure about ethnicity, but Uferte sounds Itlian. The choice of Raymond and Russel as first names suggest the familiy has been in Anmerica for some time. The portrait has a background similar to a cabinet card, in this case a woodland setting. The post card was not postally used so we do not know where the boys lived in the United States. All we know for sure was that the portrait was taken in 1921. Raymond wears a single-breasted knickers suit with slight Norfolk styling. Norfolk suits were declining in popularity during the 1920s. It is a little difficult to make out, but but Raymond seems to be wearing a soft collar shirt and light-colored tie. As was common at the time, he stll wear long stockings. Knee socks only became nor common at the ebd of the decade. The stockings seem chosen to match the color of his suit. And he wears high-top shoes. The date matches the 1910-24 time frame we have for Artura post cards.

Underhill, George Francis (England, 1870s)

This CDV portrait shows George Francis Underhill in a vested suit. He was known as Frank and looks to be about 11 years old or so. George wears a single-breasted suit with a matching vest. Notice the best has six buttons, all buttoned, extnding almost all the way to the collar. All three of the suit items match. He also has a rather small Eton collar and small ribbon bow, we are not sure about the color. We see a transotion in the 1870s between the small collars of the 1860s and large cpllars of the 1880s. The portrait is undated, but looks like the 1870s to us. The photographer was Edouard Nickels in Chelmsford, a town northeast of London.

Underwood, Willie F. (United States, 1851- )

We have been able to find virtually no information on this American boy who appears to have been something of a child prodigy. He is, however, of special interest becuause we have obtained a quarter-plate daguerreotype of him. This is the oldest photographic image that we have of any prodigy. The boy is identified in the intact full-case as Willie F. Underwood, and dated 1855. He looks to be about 4 years old. We know nothing about his musical abilities other than he played the violin at a very young age. No information is available on his concerts or any contribution to the world of music as an adult. Willie in the portrait appears seated on a draped stool or chair with the drapery slightly tinted red. The boy is dressed in finery that only a mother could love, a low cut vlouse with ruffles, velvet kneepants, pantalettes, and the wildest plaid stockings.

Upshaw, Arthur (United States 1898)

Here we have a portrait of Arthur Upshaw. We do not know where in lived in the United States, but we know the portait was taken in 1898. Arthur looks to be about 8 years old. He wears a light-colored summer sailor suit with a dark dickey and an embrodered ancor. . It was an unusual style. The top is more like a jacket than a blouse. The jacket is done wih narrow dark piping and a rather distinctive pocket. Arhur's suit is done with knee pants and worn with black long stockings, both standard forv boys at the time. We see that quite a bit at the time, a light-colored outfit worn with black stockings. We see this for both boys abnd girls. His hair is heavily slickdowned as was popular at the turn-of-the-century.

Urnsby, James (United States, 1910s)

We note a postcard of James Urnsby in a play army uniform. We know nothing about James except his father was Lawrence Urnsby. We do not know where in America they lived. Nor do we know whem the photograph was taken, but would guess the 1910s, perhaps during World War I. James is wearing a knee pants Army uniform. It might have been a military school uniform, but the white stockings and sandals surely make it a play outfit. Both the uniform and the stockings and sandals suggest a family living in comfortable circumstances.


Vail, Ollie (United States, 1860s)

This CDV portrait shows Ollie Vail in a cut-away jacket suit with long pants. Note the connecting tabs on the cut-away jacket, The material is a rather loud check. I'm not sure about the color. He has a blouse with small collar which unusually hangs out over the jacket. Also notice how the blouce slleves ballon out. This suggess to us that the portrait is a fairly early CDV, perhaps 1862-64. Ollie is a good example of how common long pants were in the 1860s. Even quite young boys wore them. Ollie looks to be about 7-8 years old. The portrait was taken at the Union Gallery in Danbury, Connecticut. It is not dated, but would have been taken in the 1860s. As there is no tax stamp it would have to be either before September 1, 1864 or after August 1, 1866. During this time a tax was charged and there is no revenue stamp on the back of this portrait..

Vaill, Theodore and Robinson (United States, 1870s)

The boys in this cabinet card portrait are identified as brothers Theodore and Robinson Vaill, although the writing is a little indistinct. The boys look about 5-10 years of age. The younger boy at first glance seems to be wearing a kilt suit, but it is fact a one-piece A-line dress with no waisline. Kilt suits seem more common for a boy this age. He wears the dress with a large lace collar and an early floppy bow. He has a white shirt, but it is only visible at the wrists. His long stockings are kind of molted. I think that means that they were knitted at home. His curls have been cut before breeching. The older boy wears a double-breasted suit. Although not visible it probably has very high-set lapels. He has what looks like an Eton collar and wears a bow like his little brother, but with shoter tails. His knee pants are long and he wears light-colored long stockings. We note white stockings in the 1860s, but light colored long stockings were not very common in the 1870s and 80s. The portrait is undated. We would guess the late-1870s, but the early 80s is possible. The studio is K.T. Sheldon in West Winsted, Connecticut.

Valdman, Jaroslav (Czechoslovakia, about 1935)

Here is a Czech boy about 10 years old in his First Communion suit. The boy wears a dark double breasted suit with a white shirt and open collar, knee pants, and long stockings which seem to be dark brown rather than the more customary black. He wears high top shoes. The photo was taken in 1935. The boy's is Jaroslav Valdman who was born in 1925. The portrait was taken in Susice, a small town in the south-western Bohemia.

Van Dusen Boys (United States, 1870)

Here we see a CDV portrait of the the four Von Dusen boys. They are identified on verso in period pencil; "Geo(rge), Sam, Joe, (and), Cha(rle)s Van Dusen", with date of October. 1870. The boys all wear different outfts including cut-away ackets, what looks like a jacket with early double-breasted styling, and a lapel jacket. The two boys in front weak knee pants with white stockings. White sockings were very common in the 1860s, but boys mostly wore colored stockings, often striped stokings, in the 1870s. Also notice the blank wall. That background was common in the 1860s, but rarely seen in the 70s. We assume that they are brothers-note their similar eyes and shape of face, although cousins are a possibility. Browsing a number of genealogical resources on the web has not pinned their identity; both a George and Charles were mentioned as sons of 85-year-old Hannah Van Dusen when she was killed in a freak accident in New York during August 1914. She appears to have been a wife of the Hiram Van Dusen, a banker of Brown Brothers Co., brass manufacturers, who died the following December. The CDV was taken at the Wenderoth, Taylor, & Brown studio in Philadelphia.

Harry Van Beigeis (France, 1876)

Here we have a CDV portrait of see Harry Van Beigeis (writing indistinct). The name seems Dutch. Harry looks to be about 6 years old. He wears what kooks like a kilt suit, although it is aittle more fancy than the kilt suits we see American boys wearing. And unlike American boys who kostky wire long stockings, he is wearing three-quater socks. It might be a kilt suit styled dress, it is a little difficult to tell. The portrait was taken December 9, 1876. The studio was Le Jeune in Paris.

Van Horne, Floyd (United States, about 1915)

This studio portrait shows Floyd Van Horne wearing a Norfolk knee pants suits with a large white collar and light-colored floppy bow. Floyd has page-boy bangs. He looks to be about 5 years old. The portrait was taken in Litt�s Studio in Ellendale, North Dakota. The portrait is undated, but we would guess was taken about 1915. Knickers were more common for boys in the 1910. We see many older boys wearing jackets like this with knickers. While knickers were very common in the 1910s, we see many younger boys still wearing lmee pants. Floyd also wears long stockings and lave-up high-top shoes.

Van Norstrand, Charles Richard (United States, about 1890)

Here we have only a poor image. We do, however, have his name--Charles Richard Van Norstrand. It is an American image, although we do not know where it was taken. The name suggests Dutch ancestry. He is 6 years and 3 month old although he looks a bit younger. He wears a plaid Little Lord Fauntleroy skirted kilt suit. It is inscribed on the back, "to Aunt Jenny with hugs and kisses." he had his portrait taken with a girl doll. The portrait is undated, but we would estimate it was taken about 1890.

Van Tine, Lester and Chester (United States, 1910s- )

A HBC reader has provide us some charming photographs of herfather Lester VanTine and his fraternal twin Chester. The boys grew up in Pennslvania and are shown in a 1911 photograph wearing tunics with long stockings. They both have long, but not shoulder length hair.

Van Vliet Braman, Hiram (United States, 1883)

A New York boy Hiram Van Vliet Braman wore a Highland kilt. The kilt was donated to the ??? Museum and is in the New York City collection. Hiram wore the kilt about 1883, although for ewhat occassions and how commonly we do not know. The Museum calls it a "Scotch Suit", but it is clearly a full Highland kilt outfit in the Black Watch plaid, complete with sporran. According to the Museum, Upon Queen Victoria's "coronation, the influence of Victoria's reign and the ensuing predilection for all things British were strongly felt on the New York side of the Atlantic. A popular souvenir from a trip to the British Isles was the ubiquitous Scotch suit that was worn by fashionable children of either gender." This undoubtedly true, although we are not sure to what extent girls wore Hoghland kilts. Americans traveling to England and Europe in the late 19th century mean families of means. We also wonder if they might not have been able to purchase them in New York City shops.

Vaughn, John David Malet (Chile and England, 1925)

Here we see what seems to be a Chilean--American family. The press caption read, "A Chilean Beauty at the Court of St. James: The Countess of Lisburne with her childrem , Vicount Vaughan, Gloria, Honor and Auriel. The Counttess, daughter of Don Julio de Bittencourt, attache of the Chilean legatiom in London, won the heart of [7th] Lord Lisburne and is considered one of the gratest beauties in court circles." John was born (1918). he photograph was dated September 24, 1925. The children are all dressed in white. John would have been about 7 years old. The girlss wear matching white dressses. Their older brother, John as a boy was Vicount Vaughn. He wears a rather plain short panrs outfit. They all wear white pumps and socks to complete their all white outfits. The future 8th Earl of Lisburne grew up with his sisters on the Crosswood Estate, Aberystwyth. The chikldren were referred to in county society as 'Glory, Laud and Honor'. A third sister, Lady Auriel, the novelist Oriel Malet, was born (1923). He served in World War II and after the War became a barriste and Welsh independent television pioneer.

Vassall, Leonard (United States, 1772)

Copley painted Leonard Vassall with his father in 1772. Lenorard has his hair combed back and wore it long at the back.

Verplanck, Daniel (United States, 1771)

Copley pained Daniel Verplanck who looks to be about ??? years old. Daniel was from New York. The painting is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Daniel has short hair at the front and sides, but long at the back.

de Villers, Claude Berheim (France, 1906)

Edouard Vuillard, in the later stages of his career, turned to portraiture. His portraits feature prominant individuals in aristocratic Parisian society. He did several elegant portraits late in life. Several of these portraits are masterful studies. Only one we know of is a child--Claude Berheim de Villers who he pained about 1906. Unfortunately he have no information about Claude or his family. He obviously comes from a wealthy famiky. Claude has long hair and wears a fancy white outfit with white long stockings. The abstract style makes it difficult to make out detail.

Vickery, Eugene A. (United States, 1897)

Eugene A. Vickery was a student at the Boston English High School. It is the oldest public high school in the United States. We are not sure why it was named the English High School, probably because it set up with English standards. Many Americans would have been attracted by high standards, even ghough Boston had been a hot-bed of sedetion in thE Revolutionary War. The School was founded in Jamaica Plain (1821). It now a truly unique, urban school serving a diverse population of over 1,200 students, including children from several foreign countries. The School admitted its first female students (1972). Eugene here belonged to Company "G" English High School BSC1 (First Cadet Corp) . The portrait was taken in 1897. He was an officer in the Cadet Corps. Cadet training was introduced in public schools began during the Civil War (1863). Apparently there was a concern that Southern boys would somehow come north and make trouble. There was a desire to have a group of northern boys trained and ready to deal with them.

Viring, Adrian (United States, 1941)

This is a First Communion portrait of Adeian Viring in 1941. He was from Wisconsin, but we do not know what city. He looks to be about 7 years old. The portrait is interesting because it shows a boy wearing knickers with abkle socks. For some reason, kneesocks declined in popularity just before knickers did. Thus you see a number of boys in the late 30s and early 40s wearing knickers with ankle socks. When this portrait was taken, knickers were also going out of style. They were rarely seen after workd war II (1945).

Voegele, Otmar (United States, 191? )

This portrit is of 15 year old Otmar Voegele from Centralia, Washington. Voegele sounds like a German name. Otmar wears a Norfolk knickers suit with long stokings. It is a dark suit, probably navy blue. Norfolk knickers suit were standard for American boys in the 1910s. Otmar looks a little younger than 15 years old, but boys at the time tended to look a little younger than modern boys. He probably just turned 15. Many boys by age 15 began to wear long pants, but this varies from family to family. Some boys even older than Otmar wore knicker suits. He has a pin on his lapel, ptobably an awardof somekind. We can't, however, make out any details. He has his hair in a combed back style.

Voelker, Gordon (United States, 1920s)

This photo postcard portrait shows Gordon Voelker with a wonderful cocker spaniel. No doubt te family's faithful dog. We think the portrait was taken in the 1920s. Post card portraits were most common during the 1900s-20s, they were much less common in the 1930s. Voelker I think is a Dutch name, but we do not know where he was from in America. Gordon wears a patterened shirt with a plaid tie. Notice how wide it is and tied to hang above the belt. He has what look like long-cut flannel short pants. His pants have belt loops and a belt. But this seems to be ornamental. The pants are button style, held up by buttons on the shorts.


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Created: November 4, 2002
Last updated: 5:19 PM 7/9/2023