*** biographical details on boys clothing: ordinary people 1900s chronolgical listing

Unidentified American Boys (1900s)

barefoot brothers
Figure 1.--These boys are not at all sure that they want their portrait taken. This undated image shows three American boys posing barefoot for their portait. The boys have been dressedup somewhat for their portrait, the youngest boy wears a tunic suit with lace trim. We get the impression, however, that this was not a very affluent family. Note how worn the kneepants are of the boy in the left. Image courtesy of the MD collection.

Yonger boys might still wear dresses, but this was much less common than in the 1890s. The same was true of long hair and in America ringlet curls. Many boys wore bangs. Tunics were very popular abd done in various styles, like Buster Brown outfits. Boys wore a range of suits. There were juvenile styles for younger boys. Fauntleroy suits were declinng in popularity. Sailor suits were very popular. Here the expansion of national navies as part of the international arms race. The Royal Navy uniform was still the standard, but we see many boys wearing variations on the standard uniform. Norfolk suits were very popular. Many boys wore Eton collars. Most boys wore knee pants or other shortened-length psnys like knickers or bloomer knickers. American boys commonly wore long stockings, although younger boys might wear socks. The same was true in Europe, but long stockings were much more coommon in northern Europe than southern Europe. Hugh-top shoes were still common, but we see low-cut shoes as well. Younger children might wear strap shoes. We begin seeing some boys wearing sandals. We note costumes and ethnic outfits.

Weise, Julius (Germany, 1900s)

This portrit shows Julius Weise. It is undated, but was probably taken in the 1900s. We do know that Julius was photographed in Dresden, a city in eastern Germany close to Czecheslovkia. I'm not sure which Landen that is. The portrait shows him in a folk costume with an Alpine jacket and lederhosen. I would have thought it was a Bavarian outfit.

Unidentified Children (United States, 1900s)

This charming portrait shows two children, brother and sister, I assume. Tey are dressed to the nines for the portrait in immaculate white outfits. The prtrait was obviously posed. I think the family was well to do. They seem to have had a photographer come to the family. The children seem to be affluent and immaculately dressed. The girl wears a white dress, a large white hair bow, long white stockings, and very high white shoes that reach almost to mid-calf. The boy wears a white sailor suit with knee pants (but without ornamental buttons) and the same kind of hightop white shoes. Notice is long but perfectly groomed hair. The hair style is unusual. Boys with long hair in America often had it curled. These children could be twins. They seem to be about 5 or 7 years old. The photo is undated, but I think it must date from the 1910s. It is almost certainly American. The star on the boy's dickey is an American style.

Symonds, Stewart Legge (England, 1901)

This is Stewart Legge Symonds. He was the son of Benjamin Symonds, a Clergyman of the Church of England--Rector of Haversham, Buckinghamshire. Stewart was 5 years old at census time in 1901 and I would guess that it was around this time that this photo (a CDV) was taken. He weaes a white sailor suit and long curly hair.

Ingraham, Oliver (United States, early 1900s)

Oliver Ingraham had his portrait taken in the early 1900s. He was photographed by Champney of Rockport, Maine. The resulting portrait was an interesting record of his first haircut. There are a series of three early photos showing Oliver in a white sailor tunic before and after his first grownup haircut that trims away his beautiful long curls.

Lloyed, Walter Scott (United States, 1903)

Walter Scott Lloyed had his portraitvtaken In January 1903. He looks to be about 5 years old. We are not sure where the portrait was taken, but it could be Texas as the portrait was found there. Walter clearly came from an affluent family, perhaps with literary pretentions given his name. The portarit is of interest because he wears one of the largest LittLe Lord Fauntleroy collars we have even seen.

Bacon, Henry Reginald (England, 1903)

Henry Reginald Bacon had his potograph his photograph taken in Brightlingsea, Essex during July 1903. He wears a wide-brimmed sailor cap and long ringlet curls. He was 7 years old. He has a kneepants suit with military styling worn with an enormous Eton-style collar. Henry has long ringlet curls which have been carefully layed on his shoulders. Four ringlets can be seen. Because of the hat, it is difficult to make out how the hair on his forehead was done. It looks like rather than bangs, his hair at the front was done in short curls.

Bryce, W.C. (England, about 1905)

W.C.Bryce was a student at Britain's famed Eton school. He looks to be a new boy or at least a junior student. Heis dressed in an early 19th century naval unioform, dating from the Napoleonic War era. Apparently there was some kind of celebration at Eton on June 4 when th boys dressed up in these uniforms. I would have guessed that the portrait was taken in the 1890s, but our British contributor tells us that it was in collection of Eton phitographs taken from 1901-10.

Harper brothers (United States, 1900s)

These boys are not at all sure that they want their portrait taken. This undated image shows three American boys (David, Ross & Gordon Harper) poseing barefoot for their portait. They look to be about 3-7 years of age. We do not know where in America this portrait was takem , but they are definitekly American boys. They boys have been dressedup somewhat for their portrait, the youngest boy wears a tunic suit with lace trim. These tunic suits were one of the most popular styles for younger boys in the early 20th ventury. Notice that the belt on the tunic has no real function. Some were plain, others could be quite fancy. His older brothers wear identical stripped blouses with large Peter Pan collars.

Harvey, Maurice (United States, about 1905)

This American image is a matted "studio" photograph from Montpelier, Vermont. The photograph is undated, but appears to be from the early 1900s, perhaps about 1905. Written beneath the photo are the words "Uncle Robert Harvey and Maurice". Embossed upon the matting beneath the photograph are the words "Ayers Art Studio, Montpelier, VT." Maurice wears a dark sailor tunic with his Dutch boy or Buster Brown bangs. I'm not sure how old Maurice was, pergaps 5-6 years old.

Unidentified Siblings (United States, about 1905)

This image is unidentified and undated. We think the two children are probably girls. Our convention at HBC is to assume older children in dresses are girls unless there is some reason for thing differently. In this case, all we know for certain is that the children are American. The pse strongly suggests thst they are siblings. Several indicators suggest that they are girls. This is primarily because of the center hair part and also the fancy dress styles. I have not see images of boys in dresses like the ones worn here. Boys also wore ringlet curls and even hair bows--but usually with side parts. The size and placement of the hair bows, however, is similar to the ways boys sometimes had their hair done. We would date the image at about 1905, primarily because of the photographic format. Because of her age, the older child is probably a girl. The younger child is more of a question and the dress is clearly more plain.

?????, Bob and Morgan (United States, 1906)

Here we have two American boys in 1906. They are pictured in oval framed cabinet cards. The boys are brothers Bob (almost 7 years old) and Morgan (8 years old). Unfortunately we do not have their last names. Oval-shaped photos are pasted onto an embossed mat with an oval spave. The cards measure 5" by 7". Bob sports an emacuate white Eton collar nd perhaps a tunic, it is not clear just what his top is, it may be a felt material. Morgan wears a plain sailor blouse with no stripe detailing, bur a mtching dickey with some kind of sailor emnblem. The wars some kind of white white underneath. Bob' hair is done in abngs while Morgans hair has a right part. They are posed sparatelyh rather than together. The studio was H.K. Bussa in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Naylor-Leyland, G.V. (England, 1907)

This boy is G.V. Naylor-Leyland. He was about 15 years old when this portrait was taken in his Eton School uniform. Note the crisp Eton collar. The portrait is undated, but we estimate that it was taken about 1907. He was killed in action on Monday September 21, 1914 aged 22 years in France during the early phase of fighting during World War I. He was a Lieutenant with the Horse Guards (the 'Blues').

Stokes, G.V. (England, 1907)

G.V. Stokes was a student at Britain's famed Eton school. He looks to be about 15 years old at the time of this portrait had probably been at the school a couple years. We know nothing about the boy. As an Eton student, however, he must have come from an affluent family. Also this uniform must have been rather expensuve. He is dressed in a mid-19th century naval uniform. Eton has a June 4 celebration each year when the boys dress up in fancy naval uniforms I would have guessed that the portrait was taken in the 1890s, but our British contributor tells us that it was in collection of Eton photographs taken from 1901-10.

McCellan, Frank and Eva (United States, 1909)

Frank and Eva McCellan had their portrait taken in 1909. we know little about them, but they were 5 and 6 years old. They are American children, although I do not know where in the United States that they were from. Given the fancy hair styling we suspect that they came from an affluent family. Their mother has chosen different clothes. Eva wears a white frock. Frank wears a white middy blouse and scarfe and bright plaid kneepants.


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Created: 9:21 PM 2/13/2012
Last updated: 12:34 AM 5/16/2022