United States Boys' Hat Styles: Rounded Crown Hats--Age Trends

Figure 1.--This Civil War-era CDV portrait was taken about 1865. (there is a revenue stamp on the back.) The boy who looks to be anout 13-14 years old holds a rounded-crown hat. He wears a dark collar-buttoning jacket and the ligh-colored pants do not match. He has a knotted neckwear. On the table, notice the books which generally indicated a level of education. Perhaps, the boy was a student at an academy or other school. The photographer was H.A. Dowe, Danielsonville, Connecticut.

Rounded crown hats seem to have been primarily for school-age children during the 19th century. Caps were not as common for boys in the mid-19th century as they would become later in the century. Younger boys had more desinctive headwear styles. We also see younger teen agers wearing rounded-crown hats. The headwear worn by mid-teens could vary. This varied from family to family. Older teenagers turned to more adult styles. This seems to have varied somewhat demographically. Teenagers in rural areas may have worn these rounded-crown caps to older ages than more stylish city boys. Social class may have also been a factor. We suspect that boys from affluent familes were better able to keep up with the syles of the day. Thus working-class boys, especially fom rural families, woyld be likely to have worn these hats to older ages. The age of boys wearing these hats varied somewhat over time. We note older bots wearing these hats at mid-century than at the end of the century.


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Created: 12:26 AM 8/27/2008
Last updated: 12:26 AM 8/27/2008