An Ohio Boyhood: Lawrence Ivan Maicie (1905-??)

Figure 1.--I believe Lawrence was born about 1905 in Toledo, Ohio. He is pictured here with his mother.

Many images illustrating historic boys clothes are soletary photographs, often anonamous images that do not show what the child wore when he was younger and older. A fascinating series of images from the forst few years of the 1900s are available for an Ohio boy, Lawrence Ivan Maicie. The photographs show what Lawrence wore from infanthood to about 10 yeas of age. His doting mother seems to have been particularly fond of tunics and large floppy bows. The sereies gives a good idea of the progression of styles for an American boy in the first decade of the 20th Century.

Figure 2.--Lawrence at 1 1/2 sported a double breasted knitted outfit. I'm not sure if this was purchased or knitted at home.


The seies of photographs unfortunately was not dated. There are meticulos notes as to the child's age, but nothing indicatiin when the photographs were taken. I can only guess based on the clothing styles the that the boy wears. The fact that he only wears dresses as an infant and wears mostly tunics as a younger boy suggests to me that he was born after the turn of the century. The fact that as an older boy, about 10 years old he is wearing kneepants and not knickers and a floppy bow suggests that it was before the end of Worls War I (1918). Thus my busr guess is that he was born about 1903 and the final picture of him at about 10 was taken before 1915, probably about 1912 or 1913.

Figure 3.--This young lady appears to be Lawrence's sister. He was photographed in the same whicker chair.


One interesting feature of these photographs is that much of the family is pictured, including mother, father (David F.), and grandfather. Lawrence must have had a sister as a girl is photographed in the same whicker chair in which Lawrence is photographed. It is not clear if it is an older or younger sister.

The Photographs

Lawrence's mother appears to have been intentnon leaving a detailed photographic record of her son. This was in part possible because by the turn of the Century, photography had become much less expensive and had emerged from the studio. Lawrence's photographs, however, are almost all studio shots. His father apprently had little interest in photography. The photographs were printed as postcards so they could be mailed to other family members.

Figure 4.--Lawrence a couple months before his second birthday was wearing an elegant white tunic with emroidered flowers and edgeging on the scalloped lapels.

The first photographs were taken at the W.L. Milner & Co which apparently was a department store as the photographswere taken in the sporting goods department. Mother was, however, unhappy with the results and writes to a cousin (under Lawrence's name).

Dear Cousin Lori --
The picture man didn't do any better by me than he did by you. Mother says our pictures do not do either of us justice. I am going to a first class picture place next time and see what they can do for me. I am bigger now as I was only 2 months and 18 days when that was taken.

Lovingly, Lawrence Ivan Maicie


Photographs were taken of Lawrence in several different outfits. Mother appears particularly parcial to tunics and floppy bows.

Baby dresses

After the turn of the century many boys still wore dresses, although increasingly the dresses escepcially styled for boys. This does not appear to have been the case for Lawrence. While he wore dresses as an infant, by 1 year of age he was wearing tunics with bloomer-like knickers rather than dresses.

Figure 5.--Lawrence at 2 years of age wears the same tunic suit. Note the open collar and scalloped styling on the collar. In this photograph Lawrence wears white stockings rather than short socks.

Knitted wear

Lawrence as a toddler had a knitted outfit complete with a tassled cap. His mother may have well actually knitted it for him. It has stylish doub;e breasted styling. It appears to have been worn rather like leggings. The knitted outfit is complete with mittens.


Lawrence's mother appears to have been especially partial to tunics, particularly white tunics. There are several photo of Lawrence wearing tunics. There are two different tunics, akthough they are both elegant white and of very similar design. Two of the tunics pictured appear to have been summer tunics as they have short, slightly puffed sleeves. A third has long sleeves, but still has an open neck. The two white tunics appear to have been his fornmal party suit for special occasions. All of the students are basically sailor tunics, rather than the closed neck Russian style, although none of them have the sailor detailing.

Figure 6.--Lawrence at 3 years of age has a new tunic with some slightly different features.

The firsr tunic had a comfortable looking open neck. The collar has sailor influence with a deep "V", but th lapel is much larger and extends horizonaly and mid chest. It buttons down the front with large whote buttons. The tunic has a narrow ornamental belt with a metal clasp. It is also white and made out of the same material as the tunic. The collar has embroidered flowers and scalloped edging. There are no pockets an either of the dressy white tunics.

The second tunic which he wore as a 3-year old was very similar to the first. Again it kooks to have been a summer suit because of the open collar and short sleeves. The collar lapels, however, do not run horizontally but rather follow the "v" of the collar. It was also front buttoning, although the buttons are not so obvious. There is a button fastner on the belt rather than a clasp.

The third tunic was also a lighted colored tunic, it appears to hav been a white tunuic with a colored square bok pattern. I am not sure what color the pattern was, perhaps red or blue. This one was also worn with an open colar, but had long sleeves. It is almost identical to the styling of the second kilt. It has a metal clasp. The belt itself is all white and appears to bevmadevout of a different material than the tunic. I think this was a play suit wrn for every day, although theconly basic difference was the material. It may be, for example, the same material worn to ride the pony. Some minor differences are that the sailor collar is not scalloped, there is no ebroidery work, and there appears to be a front right pocket.

Figure 7.--Lawrence at 4 years of age wears his checkered play tunic for a photograph with his dad. His mother has begun styling his hair in Dutch boy bangs like Buster Brown.

I'm not sure to what age Lawrence wore tunics. The pgotographs show him wearing them at 4 years of age. He probably wore them at 5 or even 6, but by 7 years of age he was wearing kneepants suits.

Bloomer knickers

All of Lawerence's tunics are worn with bloomer-like knickers. The knickers all match the material of the tunic. They are worn at knee length, just slightly below the hem of the tunic. I'm not sure how the knickers were styled. I doubt if they were worn with a belt to hold them up. I also do not know if they had pockets, probably not. The advertisements for these knicker suits generally show the tunic jacket itself, but rarely the knickers worn underneath.

White Stockings

One photograph of Lawrencer as a younger boy show him in short socks. All the other photgraphs show him wearing long stockings. He mostly wears white stockings. I think that dark stickings were generally more common. White stockings were conidered dressier more formal wear. They seem to have been primarily worn by girls and little boys. It was less common for older boys to wear white stockings and in such cases it was almoost always with a formal outfit. Even so, Lawrence appears to wear white stockings not only for dressy fornmal occasions, but also wears them for play as a younger boy. He also, however, wears the white stockings with his tunic and as an older boy with a velvet suit. Notice that he wears stockings even with his short sleeve, open collar tunics that were clearly summer outfits. The stockings were made of wool and cannot have been very comfortable in the warm summer weather. It is understanable that mother would have wanted stockings for special occasions, it is not know why she also insistede in them for all his other clothes, including his play clothes.

Stocking supporters

Lawrence his wearing long over the knee stockings and not tights. Thus he had to wear some kind of supporter to keep his stockings up. There were diiffernt types of supporters, including over the shoulder and waist types which were then attached to the top of the stockings. This was the common practice in the 1890s, but by the 1900s some boys were wearing tunics without long stockings. Lawrence's mother aooears to have been rather traditional.

Figure 8.--Lawrence still at 4 years of age wears his checkered play tunic while riding his pony.

Strap shoes

Lawrence as a small boy wore strap shoes with both lonf stockings and short socks. He also had soft looking white shoes. These do not seem to be the the kind of shoes that would be worn outdoors.


Lawrence's headgear for formal occasions appears to have been a broad brimmmed sailor hat. The brim is quite large, but some boys wore even larger ones. In the one photograph of him wearing it, he has the brimmed turned stylishly up. I can't tell whether or not is has a streamer or not.


For cooler weather Lawrence had a double breasted coat. Double breasted styling was particularly popular for coats at the turn of the century. Lawrence's coat had the classic black velvet trim on the collar, a style which originated as a indication of sympthy to the French being executed during the Revolution. I am not sure when this became a popular style in children's jackets. This is the earliest I have noticed it, but it was almost surely employed earlier as it was common on many men's coats in the early 19th Century.

The buttons on his coat are big enough that Lawrence may have been able to button them himself. Large buttons were a common stylistic feature of clothing for younger children and had the practical advangage of making it easier for the children to dress. There is also a patch pocket on the coat.

Figure 9.--Lawrence at 3 years and 1 month wore a douuble breasted suit with a wide brimmed sailor hat. He appears to be wearing a white tunic under it.

Lawrence appears to be wearing a white tunic under his coat. Notably the tunic under his coat does not have an open collar. None of his other tunics have closed collars. Perhaps he wore a closed collar tunic in the winter. A white tunic in the winter, however, seems unusual. White stockings in the winter also seems unusual. It may be that his mother simply prefered white outfits for him regardless of the season.

Velvet suit

I'm not sure when Lawrence's velvet suit was purchased. He is, however, at years of age no longer wearing tunics, but instead a dark velvet suit. The jacket buttons to the neck. Early Fauntleroy suits had small velve t jackets worn open so the fancy lace-trimed and ruffled blouces could be seen and admired. You can not even see Larence's blouse as it is completely covered by the jacket. All that is visible is the collar.

Very few details about the jacket are observable in the photographs. His jacket has no visible lapels, an important feature in the suits for older boys. At least four vertical buttons are observable. They are white or a light color, designed to contrast with the dark velvet material. There are also two matching buttons on the sleeve. He wears it with a broad Eton collar amd floppy bow. The jacket is worn with kneepants that also had buttons at the knee, but which seem to be ornamental.

I am not sure what color the suit was. The available black and white photography gives the mistaken impression that all velvet suits were black because most were either black or various dark shades. It seems to me that the suit is not as intense a color one would expect for a black suit. Such suits were available in several colors, including burgandy, royal blue, brown, and forrest green. Just what color mother selected for Lawrence is unknown.

Figure 10.--Lawrence at 7 years was wearing a velvet kneepants suit with an Eton collar and floppy bow. The bow appears to be a solid color.

There are few stylistic features observalble on the suit it self. The jacket does appear to blouse out a bit and seems to be worn more as a blouse than a jacket. There is some detailing at the wrist on the sleeves, accompanied by buttons. Note that there are no shirt sleeves visible at the sleeves.

Lawrence wre his velvet suit with both white and dark stockings. I am not sure what determined whether he wore the white or dark ones. Perhaps it was seasonal. More likely it was related to the formality of the occasion. Boys at 7 were increasingly less likely to wear white long stockings. Increasingly they were being more commonly worn by girls. Many boys, however, were still wearing dark long stockings with both kbeepants and knickers.


Few details on the kneepants are observable in the kneepants. I presume that they has pockets, although thet are not visible in the photograph. There are two buttons at the hems of the pants, although three were more common. This matchescthe two buttons at the wrist on the skeeves. I believe that he has been photographed wearing his new suit sometime before 1910. This would mean that it was at a time that kneepants were still widely worn, but beginning to go out of style. Knickers but not short pants were becoming increasingly popular for American boys. I believe his outfit would have been seem as a little old fashioned for the time, but only slightly so.


Lawrence wears a crisp Eton collar with his velvet suit. Older boys would not wear a floppy bow with their Eton collars. Older boys would wear no bow at all or a kind of bowtie. A few years dearlier it would have been unusualy to see a boy of 7 wearing a plain Eton collar. Rather such a boy would have much more likely to have worn a fancier ruffled or even lace collar which could have been substantially larger. Ruffled collars for boys had become especailly popular at the turn of the Century. In all the avilable photographs of Lawrence as an older boy he appears in an Eton collar.

Figure 11.--Lawrence at 7 1/2 years agains wears his velvet kneepants suit, this time with a floppy bow and dressy white stockings. Note that he wears a plaid bow in this photograph.


Lawrence did not wear bows as a younger boy. Many boys at the time did. A large floppy bow was a common feature for the Buster Brown tunics commonly worn by American boys at the turn of the Century.

The available photographs of Lawrence as an older boy all show him wearing a floppy bow. In one photograph it appears to be a dark solid color. In two others it is a colorful plaid. It no doubt added a little color to his dark colored suit. These bows were very important to a boys outfit and undoubtedly were carefully tied by mother. I doubt if father would tie the bows in such an elegant matter. Presumably this was always done by mother.

Lawrence wears his bow for both formal and less formal occasions. He wears the bows with his velvet suit. He also wears it, however, on less formal occasions--perhaps during the summer. Note the bow below when he is hust weaing a blouse without a jacket.


It is unclear whay kind of blouse Lawrence wears with his velvet suit as only the Eton collar is visible. The photograph with his father and grandfather shows what his blouses looked like. It is a blouse and not a shirt as there are no shirt tails. Even without his jacket he appears to be wearing the same large plaid floppy bow. This could be the type of blouse worn with his velvet suit. He wears it with an Eton collar.


The shoes he wears with his velvet suit are button shoes. The upper part of the shoe appears to be a different material than the lower part of the shoe. I do not know enough about shoes to explain the style adequately.

Hair Styles

Lawrence appears to have primarily worn short hair. At age 4, however, his mother began styling it in Dutch boy bangs. This was the hair style worn by Buster Brown who almost always was outfitted in tunics. By the time he is 7, however, he wears xshort hair with his velvet suits.

Figure 13.--Lawrence is pictured here, I think at about 9 or 10 years with his father and grandfather. Notice the Eton collar and floppy bow.

Pets and Toys

Some intereting props are noticeable in several of the photographs. Lawrence appears to have liked dogs. One early photograph of him still in a tunic shows him with a white poodle pull toy dog. The white toy dog matches his white tunic. The photograph in a coat shows him holding what I think is a walking stick. The most charming photograph shows Lawrence hlding a puppy. I think this shows his mother was a rather permissive soul. Many mothers would have been rather upset with their sons getting dog hair all over his best velvet suit. Another photograph shows him rather studiously holding a book.

Christopher Wagner

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Last updated: May 13, 1999