Reader Overall Assessments About the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Page

Figure 1.--This photograph taken during the summer shows hoe many american boys were dresses in 20th century America. Notice the boys kneepants and ruffled collar.

HBC has receives numerous short comments from readers. Most readers have found HBC to be a useful resource tool. Many readers have found HBC to be a nostalgic return to their childhood days. In the past we haven't saved them, but after some discussion we decided to save a few to provide a taste of how our readers view HBC. We also of course receive some criticisms. The most glaring is the spelling which is a problem HBC plans to correct. The other major criticism has been the lack of foreign language pages and the poor quality of the few translated pages. This is something HBC has done some work on recently.

We thought you might find a representative sampling of reader comments of interest.

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General Comments

Iíve just discovered your absolutely brilliant website. Iím writing a book about my ancestors and was just wondering what little boys brought up on a farm would have worn in 1819 and viola! Here is your site. Thank you very much for all the beautifully organised and linked information.

Lucy Ann Curling

Neat site---Congrats !

Dave B.

Yours has to be the best fashion site I've ever seen. I wish there was as good a site for girls. I have read many books on fashion and discovered that these are their most common flaws: First, some seem to focus on high fashion and outrageous designer garments, rather than what regular people actually wore. Also, most have incredibly limited information, if any, on clothes for children and teenagers. But your site covers these things. P.S. I notice Listbot has gone out of business? I assume you will find a new spot for your mailing list?

Christine Zanowic

HBC response: Christine, thank you for your kind comments. You put your finger on two of the reasons Chris and I began HBC. The third was that fashion siyes commonmly make no effort to connect fashion trends with larger historical and social trends. Yes there is a need for a site on girls' fashions. We are hoping that someome will create one that we can cooperate with. Yes, List Bot has been taken over by Microsoft and they now demand a fee. I do maintain a separate mailing list for readers who contribute information--letting them know when new pages are created. While HBC is devoted to boys' fashions, there is quite a bit of information about girls as well--have a look at the Main girls' page.

Your website is a wonder! Thank you and Merry Christmas to you all.


I accidentally hoped on to your web site while doing a little research, but what I have found was well worth the time spent viewing your site. I simply wanted to say thank you for the information. Sincerely,

R. B. McAllister

Whilst searching for some information on the French film La Ville Dont Le Prince et un Enfant, I came across your site, which provided me with a host of useful information, otherwise unavailable elsewhere. I can only thank you for that. Intrigued I have now had a quick look through some of the rest of your site and what to say how good it is, a true example of what the internet should be about. I will be posting my piece on La Ville Dont Le Prince et un Enfant on my site Theatre of Dreams later this week. I will let you know when!


Hi, I have just spent the past two and a half hours going through your wonderful websites. It's not bookmarked because of all the information you have. Couldn't fit it in in one sitting. You have done a remarkable job.

Lu Hamlin

Thank you for your website. My 8 year old son decided to write about boys clothing in his School's Victorian topic and we both enjoyed reading the information you supplied.

Caroline McLewee

I would also like to add that your HBC site was also interesting in that I have a young grandson and sew and some of the styles that I saw on your site are like some of the Heirloom Clothes that they have patterns for now.

P. Adams

In looking through your wonderful and attractive clothing museum---it looks like we should be dressing our boys differantly today!! Anyway You really did a fine job putting this together. Thank you.


Just wanted to let you know that you are doing a great job on this website. Please continue doing a great job. Thank You for your time. Sincerely.


Thank You for the information every American should read your Web Site.

Dennis Pape

HBC note: Thank you for your kind comments. You know I can remember as a boy about 12 years old finding as I began to read some serious history, that there were problems with the history presented to children. I found for example that there black calvary troopers. My history books never showed that and they were not in the movies or television. I began to wonder why black people had been written out of American history. (Thankfully some of this has changed.) At any rate that began my historical quest. The initial impetus of HBC was not collect informatuion on clothing and fashion. This is an ongoing process that is continuing. We have now begun to use this information to assess larger historical events. Here as we have so many readers from different countries who cotribute their insights, we can often provide a larger world view than is sometimes offered by many Ameican authors. We hope to give increasing attention to the historical side of HBC. Our focus here is to assess how children were affected by these events and in some cases how they influenced those events. It is usually children that are most affected by wars and other crises like depressions. Children and youths do also influence events. People who think that children do no influence events need look no further that the American Civil War.

Howdy! I was surfing for 1850's-60's ladies wear and ran across the Historic Boys Clothing page - fabulous! Okay, not so much for a class making corsets and crinolines, but great as a general resource. I hope I have time later to give it a really thorough peruse, but just knowing you're here is nice! Best wishes for a continuing web presence.

Meg Carignan, Vice Chair, The Costume Society of Nova Scotia,


I would just like to say how tremendous your site on Historical Boys Clothing is. I have returned to it many times and keep finding new nooks and crannies of information and most excellent photographs. I was a teacher in England and now work in New Zealand. You say that it is possibly one of the biggest sites on the web: it is certainly one which I return to most often as clicking on one bit of information opens up a wealth of new material which I didn't realise was included. Have you made your material into a book or are you ever likely to? Keep up the good work.


HBC response: A future book or series of books is a possibility. The HBC pages, however, are in esence draft documents and not yet ready for publication. A great deal more research is needed.

Research Tool

You guys do such a great job with your excellent insights and perceptive comments! You've really built each section of HBC into a formidable resource of historical and literary information that will serve a casual reader or an academic researcher equally well.

John B.

Dear HBC, This is a great site for my son who is doing a project on clothing for his technology studies here in Australia. Thank you.

Sue Miles


Your website was really well set up, but there were quite a lot of spelling and spacing mistakes.


HBC comment: You are of course entirely correct. Part of the problem is that we are poor spellers, but many of the errors are also poor typing. At this point the HBC pages are draft documents that we have posted for debate and discussion. Rather than spell check a page that will be significantly changed, our plan is to spell check them once we have a final document.


Hi! I really enjoy this site because I had a work to do for school and it helped me very much... The only that makes me angry is the traduction [translation] in French..... There's many mistakes! Big mistakes! Just check that and your site would be perfect! Seriously it is one of the best site I never saw!


HBC note: Yes, the translations on the basic site are a problem as is the larger problem of an exclusiely English site. The summary translations on the introductory page of the basic HBC site are Poorly done by web translation engines. One of the many problems HBC needs to address. Generous Swiss and French contributors are currently helping with some of the French and German translations. We have made considerable progress in this area. We invite, however, for French readers to submit corrected versions of any passages they find poorly translated. Please alert us to any French pages that you think are poorly translated and we will attempt to correct them. At this time we have more French pages than any other foreign language.

Hi there. I'm a translator (Dutch) and I have noted the term Peter Pan collar used to describe a dress in an English novel. Only... I don't know what a Peter Pan collar looks like, so I cannot find an ecuivalent in my language. Please, help me out with a discription!


HBC note: This is one of many queries we have received from foreign readers, asking what English language terms means. Other readers have asked us how to translate English-language terms into foreign languages. We have attempted to indicate foreign terms for the various garments and styles on those respective pages as well as in the different country pages We have also created foreign language glossaries that will help non-english speakers find the appropriate HBC page.

I am yet another translator (this time Japanese to English) writing to tell you how wonderful and helpful your site has been. Your site has proved an invaluable source not only for coming up with the correct English, but also for correcting background information. Thank you.

Deb, Tokyo, Japan

HBC note: Thanks for writing Deb, that is nice to know. Our Japanese glossary is still eather limited, but some of the other ones have developed quite nicely with the help of our readers from the various countries we cover. Given the difficulty we have had understanding foreign-language words concerning clothing, we thought that others might find the information we have developed useful.

Sister Sites

Loved your historical boys site and was wondering if you hosted a girls' one as well. Thanks


HBC note: Yes we quite agree. The problem is that HBC has already undertaken a far more expansive topic that we can handle and there is no way we can address a huge additiional number of topics. Actually there is some information about girls' clothing in HBC, in part because 19th century boys also wore dresses an it is sometimes difficult to determine the gender of the children in old photgraphs. But your point is well taken and we hope that some one will eventually launch a HBC sister site. We would love to be able to link HBC to a girls' clothing site. Indeed there are a lot of images in HBC include girls in their period clothing. We have begun to index some of this information through a small girls' section.

Chronological Information

18th century

Your site is wonderful!! I get so many questions about different time periods and can not devote so much time to research, and to be able to pass such a great site on to others is beyond belief. The web opens up so much! Thank you again! Yours Respectfully,

Sandy Thomas Thread the Needle 18th Century Clothing

19th century

Recently I discovered your thorough web-site on historical boys clothing. It was of particular interest to me since I am currently doing research for a Victorian exhibit that will be held at our art museum in Greenville, South Carolina. We hope to re-create several rooms as they would have appeared in a Victorian home, using over a thousand objects and pieces of furniture that are on loan to us from a private collection. I am also working on an educational learning center for children. This learning center would directly relate to what the children have seen in the Victorian exhibit. I was particularly hoping I could get permission to reproduce eight of the photographs that appear on your web-site for use in the learning center. Each of the photographs feature a child with a toy from the Victorian era. I thought it would be exciting for the children to see how children of the time period looked. Please let me know if this would be possible. Thank you for your assistance.

Mrs. Sarah McCoy, Events Coordinator, BJU Museum & Gallery

Social History

I really enjoy reading the incitefull information that you in clude. It makes history more pertinent when the whys of what was driving the societies in the past are given. Like it or not children, especially boys and their welfare, have been a driving force for actions taken by people for many years. My daughter is using this information in making reports as to the different styles of living, reflected in the clothing, education styles, and social importance of children, boys and girls, in the past. I thought that you might want to know this just to let you know that your work is appreciated, possibly more than most other historians work.

RG Simer

Historical Clothing Website
3025 Ontario Rd., Suite 206
Washington, DC 20009


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Created: February 1, 2000
Last updated: 8:52 PM 1/25/2012