Ordinary Individuals (The 1880s)

Figure 1.--This English boy wears a pin-on detachable lace collar with a cut-away jacket and blouse. His name was Claude Bolton Wylde. He was photographed in Liverpool during September 1887. He looks to be about 6 years old. Clauder wears a rather plain blouse, but the lace collar seems rather elaborate.

Boys still wore dresses in the 1880s. Another skirted outfit, kilt suits, were very common. Highland kilts were less common and mostly restricted to Britain and to a lesser extent America. Pinafores were very common for girls, but younger boys might also wear them. The decade is especially notable for the appearance of the Little Lord Fauntleroy style, especially in America. Many American mothers even added ringle curls. Sailor suits begin to become a popular boy's style. Many boys wore lace collars with Fauntleroy suits. Floppy bows and larger collars were very popular, even by boys who had outgrown Fauntleroy suits. The collars ad bows could be quite large. Older boys might wear Eton collars. More and more boys wore knee pants, although long pants were still common for older boys. Children commonly wore long stockings.

Bruzga, V. (United States, 1880?- )

A portrait of Valom? Bruzga was taken in Boston aboy 1886-90 by the photographer H. H. Sahakian, 384 W. Broadway, So. Boston, Mass. The boy is dressed in an elegant Little Lord Fauntleroy suit and long curled hair, although they are not done in ringlets. We are not sure about the name, but believe thtbit may be Lithuanian. The suit and hair style suggest that the boy came from an affluent family.

Okuda Michitaro (Japan, 1880s)

This Ambrotype photograph shows a Japanese boy nammed Okuda Michitaro. His name is written in sumi ink on the back of the wooden case. He looks to be a younger teenager, perhaps 13-14 years old. It is a fascinating view of both hair styles and traditional clothing. His hair is sevrly combed back, but with a modest part. There seems to a bun in the back, although it is difficilt to tell with this front view. This looks to be dress hakama kimono and not an everyday one. Hakama are a kind of long skirt, tied at the waist and fall to the ankles. Hakama are worn over a kimono (hakamashita). They were in the 19th century when this portrait was tken a men's style, but women now also wear hakama. Notice the hakama is done in a solid color, although we do not know what color it may have been. Notice the wooden geta shoes and how high the foot platform was. This is higher than we normally see. Also notice the tabi toe socks. The Japanese did not normally wear the geta shoes without socks. The tabi socks wirn by both genders in the 19th and most of the 20th century were almost always white. The portrait is undated and traditional clothing provides few clues as to the date of the portrait. Traditional styles did not change as much as styles of Western clothing. The dealer belirves it was taken during the mid-Meiji period or in the 1880s. The size is 6 cm x 8.8cm (2.4 in x 3.5 in). The date is possible because Ambrotypes persisted in Japan after they had disappeared in the West. As was common in Japan, the case and frame was wooden.

Christie, H. (United States, 1880s- )

We have no infornation about this boy other than he is an American and his name is H. Christie. From the image he looks to have been born about 1880. While we know little about him, there are several interesting aspects to his outfit which provide insights to 1880s outfits.

Holliday, Francis (England, 1880s)

Here we see a CDV portait of Francis Holliday. He wears a sailor suit mafe up of a cap with abnchor pin, middy blouse and trousers. The cap had a cap tally with a ship name--MS Dun????. He was 6 years, 5 months old. We know nothing about Francis and his family. The portrait is undated, but we would guess was taken in the 1880s. The studio was Wayland of Blackheath.

Dodge, Bert (United States, 1880s)

This charming cabinet card portrait of a young boy about 3 years old is identified as Burt Dodge, as written in ink on the back of the card. We know nothing about Bert and his family. His outfit suggests that they lived in coimfortable circumstances. Bert is dressed in a frilly Fauntleroy blouse shirt with a large bow at the neck. He has a kilt suit. These kilt suits were one of the most populsar outfits for younger boys at the time. The jacket is a small Fauntleroy -style jacket designed to best display the fancy blouse. There is a matching kilt-skirt. Notice all the button detailing on the skirt. Bert also wears long black stockings and high button shoes. The light color and material suggests that this is a summer outfit. The portrait is undated, but we would guess was taken in the 1880s.

Stanley, Burgess (United States, 1880s)

The boy in the cabinent portrait here is Burgess Stanley age 2 years, 2 months. We do not have an information about Burgess or his family. It was very common for boys this age to wear dresses. Burgess was photographed by Taylor & Preston in Salem, Massachusetts. The portrait is undated, but it looks like the 1880s to us. The dress here seems a very simple dress with what looks like a small lace collar. He has front bangs and his hair is long at the back, but not curled.

Demarst. R. (United States, 1880s)

This standard cabinet card portrait shows a boy with long hair, but not done in the more common ringlet styling. He is wearing what was probably caklled a kilt suit at the time. The skirt, however, has no kilt styling. Thus it would be more correctly called a skirt suit. The outfit was done in velvet. We are not sure about the color, but it was clearly not black. We might guess a light-blue. Note the cap that matches the suit. The portrait is undated, but we would guess the 1880s, in part because the boy is not wering a Fauntleroy blouse. He is wearing a blouse, but it has a rather simple ruffled collar. The mount does not look like a 1870s style and black long stockings were not commin in the 70s. And the blouse does not look like the fancy ones popular in the 1890s. So a 1880s portrait seems the most likely. The boy is sitting by an upright piano. We are not sure if this means that he was learning to play. The boy is identified on the verso as 'Master R. Demarst, age 6 years'. We do not know what the initial stands for, but Robert seems likely. The studio was W. J. Root, Chicago, Illinois.

Roos, Carl (England, 1881)

This portrait was taken by Benedetti & Boccalini, located at Peckham, a London neighborhood in 1881. The boy is Carl Roos, which doesn't sound much like an English name. Carl looks to be 5-6 years old. Unfortunately we don't know anything about Carl and his family. We would say, however, that he came from a prosperous family. Both the long hair and the fancy sailor suit suggests this. Note that he wears three-quarter socks rather than long stockings which would have been more common in America. Note the sailor hat he is wearing which is presumably a replica of a Royal Navy hat. There are several interesting aspect to Carl's sailor suit.

Truman?, Georgei (United States, 1881)

This cabinet card is a is a difficult one. The very serious looking boy pictured is identified, but the writing is gard to red, something like Georgie Thuman/Truman/Thunian. Or maybe the first letter of the last name is an 'F'. Perhps readers will be able to figure it out. The date is also hard to read, but looks like April 3, 1881. Georgie looks to be about 2-3 years old. He wears a fancy dress made to look like a kilt suit. It has a lace collar and is trikmmed in lace. The skirt is pleated. We do not know what the color was. The studio was J.F. Green in Meriden, Connecticut.

Wilson, Edward (United States, 1882)

This cabinet card portrait is of Edward Wilson. The family called him Eddie. He looks to be about 8-9 years old. Eddie is very smartly dressed. He is has a straw hat with a wide colored hat band. It looks like a boater, but the heigth is somewhat higher than modern boaters and the crown is slightly rounded. He has a wide white collar and small bow. Note the very plain jacjet. It is simmilar to the cut away jackets popular in the 1860s and 70s, but not longer noticeably cut away. He holds a toy hoop standing next to a taxidermy bird. The photographer is identified as the famous Bogardus Gallery in New York. It was taken August 21, 1882.

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.

Rogers, Earnest K. (United States, 1883)

Earnest K Rogers had his portrit taken in Charlestown, Massachusettes during April 1883. He looks to be about 4 years of age or maybe 5. I think children were smaller in the last century. He wears an elaborate dress with considerale lace trim. A few years before the publication of Little Lord Fauntleroy, Earest haslong ringlet curls. It is an unusual cut, at first glance he look to have short hair. His curls are at the back of his head.

Pope, Niran Bates (United States, 1883)

This studio cabinet portrait shows Niran Bates Pope. Niran was born in 1879, so this portrait was taken about 1882-83. Niran was the son of Charles Henry Pope and Elizabeth Bates, daughter of Dr. Niran Bates. The family lived in Maine. The portrait does not have any studio information. Niran's outfit is a little difficult to make out, but I think it is a kilt suit rather than a dress. He has a large white collar and dark long stockings that seem to match hus kilt-skirt. His tam and overcoat are set to the ight. The portrait is an unusual mix of durniture with a rural landscape. Niran graduated from Harvard University (1902). He worked in the automotive industry. He was also a researcher. He published the History of Felt (think: brake pad). He also an article on the grinding of optic lens. He died 1972.

Campbell, Ray (United States, 1880s)

This cabinet card portrait is undated, but we estimate was taken in the mid 1880s, but that is only a rough guess. The portrait is from the estate auction of Miss Nina Campbell. Campbell is of course a Scottish name, but we do not know when the family immigrated. South Dakota was not one of the major place to whicg the Scotts settled. She was originally from South Dakota. Campbell is her maiden name and the photos are of her, family, and friends. The child here is identified as Ray Campbell. We are not sure what his relation was to Nina. It is a Railroad Photo Card. This means that Ray probany came from a small town on aail line that did not have a permanent photographic studio. Thus a rail car was laid up on a side line and operated as a studio for a short period. Ray has long hair done in a few riglets. He has a moderate sized white collar and polkadot floppy bow worn with a collar-buttoning jacket.

Matsuda Komataro (Japan, 1885)

We note a wonderful Anbrotype portrait of Matsuda Komataro who looks ready to sett of for school in 1885. This Japanese Ambrotype portrait is of Matsuda Komataro. Japanese cased portraits were commonly done in wood without guttaperca or leather covers and plush interiors. As a result of the wood, inscriptions are more common than in Western cased photographic portraits. The case herev is inscribed " Taken by WATANABE Tomio living in Kotohira Village ( Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku Island ) on March 7, Meiji 18 (1885) ". The portrait was 5cm x 8.2cm. The boy looks to be about 10 years old. We would guess that the outfit he is wearing is what he wore to school. Note the school book and ruler. In addition to the traditiibnal outfit, note the separated toe socks.

Cocroft Family (United States, 1886)

HBC has obtained a photograph of the Cocroft family of Staten Island, New York. Mrs Cocroft has 10 children and has she looks rather young, more presumably followed. It is difficult figuring out who is who in her family. She describes the children as "born as close together as nature permits". Mrs. Cocroft appears to have been particularly parcial to white smocks, presunmably the laundry load was a factor here even if she had help. The family is a good example as to how large 19th century families could be.

Hale Children (United States, 1886)

This is a cabinet portrair of the Hale children in 1886. The children are Henry M. (age 8), Elzada? (age 10), and Willie C. (age 12). The portrait was taken in Hudson, Michigan on November 9, 1886. Elzada is a strange name, the writing is a little indistinct. The studio looks to be C. O. Nye, also in Hudson. Both boys wears suits. Henry wears a collar buttoning knee pants suit with rather unusual long stockings. Henry's plain suit is interesting. Suits for younger boys could be quite fancy in the 1880s, especially among affluent families. Clothing preferemnces could vary a great deal from family to family. Clearly not every mother was enamored by the fancy fashions. We would guess from Elzada's dress that the family was affluent. Willie wears a single breasted suit with a vest and long trousers. His collar is small, but difficult to make out. He seems to be wearing a stock that looks somewhat like a bowtie. Elzada has rather short hair. She wears what looks like a jacketed dress with a rounded lace collar and small bow. Note that even young girls wore long dresses.

Cross, Ida and William (England, 1886)

This brother and sister, William and Ida Cross, were photographed in August 1886 at the Fleming Studio in Southsea, Hampshire. They are clearly from an affluent English family, although we have no details about them at this time. William wears a top hat and emaculate Eton suit. Ida wears a wide-brimmed hat and classic sailor outfit.

Hall, Charles (United States, 1880s)

Charles Hall was photographed in Lewiston, Maine wearing long ringlets curls and a kiltsuit with some sailor stylistic elements. The portrait is undated, but it looks like the early 1880s to HBC. He looks to be about 5-6 years old.

Brown, T.K. (United States, probably 1880s)

We have noted a portrait from the T.K. Brown family, probably taken in the 1880s. The Brown boy is posed in the studio wearing a pleated checked longsleeve dress topped by a white linen pinafore. This is interesting as generally for portraits children were not posed in their pinafores which were protective garments. He is looking off camera and a string leads from his hands to the pull toy horse on wheels. All details can be seen clearly. His hair is cut short. The photographic studio was: P.E.Chillman, 914 Arch St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Handwritten in pencil on the back in old script is: "I think of the T K Brown family ?".

Falleglove, John Christopher Bradshaw (England, 1887-98)

We know little about John, but a portrait shows a very English face and he wears the Eton collar that was was so common at turn of the century England. The portrait reads, "John Christopher Bradshaw Falleglove born on Chrismas day, 1887. The second date reads April 1898. The word before April is very hard to read I will tell you what I get J (then three dots) poix or pox. I believe this is a portrait of a child who died in 1898. Presumably the portrait was made in 1898. It is unsigned.

Clark Family (United States, 1887)

This charming snapshot shows the three of the four sons of Alfred Corning Clark, the famous collector of art. Alfred had four sons, Edward, Ambrose, Sterling, and Stephen, the last three of whom appear in this photograph, taken at the family estate in Cooperstown, New York, in 1887. Ambrose is about 11, Sterling about 10, and Stephen about 6 years old. The boys' grandfather was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Co. and became immensely rich. The two young grandsons, Sterling and Stephen, shared a passion for art and institution-building inherited from their father. Sterling built the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Stephen became a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and also of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He left important paintings to the Met and to Yale University. The boys all wear elegant knee pants suits with black long stockings.

Wylde, Claude Bolton (England, 1887)

This English boy wears a pin-on detachable lace collar. His name was Claude Bolton Wylde. He looks to be about 6 years old. He was photographed in Liverpool during September 1887. He wears a rather plain blouse, but the lace collar seems rather elaborate. It is one of the more elaborate such collars that we have noted,. Even so the jacket is worn open si the blouse can be seen. Note that the jacket is only buttoned at the collar. The large number of buttons weere decorative. Note that there are buttons on both sides, rather than button holes on one side. I'm not sure what color the suit was, but it may have been black.

Colton, Clifford Kellogg (United States, 1888)

This cabinet portrait shows a little blond boy shown seated on a couch wearing a dress, long stockings and button shoes. The dress was a dark color, but we are unsure about the color. It was a jacketed dress, but we don't think that the jacket was an ctual separate grment that could be removed. It had what looks likewhite contrastinng trim as piping on the edges of the garment. Large numbers of buttons were used in the decoration. The boy is identified as "Clifford Kellogg Colton 4 yr old 1888." The studio was the Johnson Bros, Watertown, N.Y., as indicated by the decorative script at bottom of the card.

Caldwell, James L. (United States, 1888)

This is a cabinet card portrait of James L. Caldwell Jr. He looks to be about 9-10 years old. The portrait was dated 1888. It is a little difficukt determining what lind of suit he is wering. It looks to be a stardard lael sack suit, but it has a back flap like a sailor suit. He has a large white collar, but difficult to see because of a luge floppy bow. It is a single colored bow with a kind of checked pattern, but we do not know the color. The studio was Schmedling in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The mount is the light-colored ones that becme very popular in the 1880s. The studio information at the bottom as a pallette logo that is a little unusual. This is a torso portrait with a plain background and gradited shading.

Ralph Cope (United States, 1888)

This cabinet card shows a small boy wearing a dress with Little Lord Fauntleroy lace trim. The card is a little dark, makinbg it difficult to pick out sylistic detaild on the dress. Ringlet curls complete the Fauntleroy look. The portrait was taken a the B. F. Crutchfield Studio in North Vernon, Indiana. The back of the cabinet card reads: "RALPH COPE - SON OF TOWNSEND COPE - ABOUT 1888." Ralph looks to be about 3-4 years old. The card has destinctive serrated edges with smooth corners. This was a popular cabninet card mount style around 1890. The 1888 date may not be precise, but the clothes and mount confirm that it was about when the portrait was made.

Lott, Lloyd P. (United States, 1889)

This portrait is of Lloyd P. Lott. He was age 6 years 2 months. The photo was taken in October 1889. We believe that he was from San Diego California. He wears what looks like a collar buttoning jacket, but it may be a jacket that did not button worn with a vest. It is difficult to tell. It is decorated with hesavy embroidery. He has a pin-on lace collar and checkered floppy bow. Both the bow and collar are large, but not enormous. Plain cuffs are visible at the waist. The suit is made with knee pants. And Lloyd wears long stockings and high-top shoes.

Unidentified Children (United States, 1880s)

Unfortunately we know nothing about the children here, except that they are American. Theportrait shows a boy and girl, almost surely brother and sister. They look to be about 4-8 years old. We are not entirelt sure how to date the dresses the children wear, but the boy's bow suggests the 1880s to us. We would welcome any insights readers may have about the dating. The rug used here seems ti have Native American motiffs. We wonder if that doesn't suggest a Western location. Note only the boy wears a floppy bow. This was more of an item for boys. This boy has had his hair cut short, but breeching will come later. The boy wears a dress with some sailor styling, but made in a plaid material. This was a popular mterial for boys' dresses. Also notice the length of the dress.


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Created: 3:36 AM 2/27/2007
Last updated: 7:51 AM 10/7/2012