We have found some German catalog items, but they are not dated. This is an example. We do not know the name of the catalog. The style of the illustrations may eventually help us identify it. We also do mot know the date of the catalog. We believe it might be some time in the 1900s, but we are not enirely sure about that. The style of the catalog presentations suggests the 1900s to us, but the 1910s is possible. Hopefully our German readers will have some insights as go the identity of the catalog and the date. As in America, long stockings were very commonly worn in Germany during the early 20th century. Thus devices to hold up long stockings were needed for children. Many German mothers used ad hoc approaches, but stocking supporters as seen here were also available. Here we see Three different styles of stocking supporters. They are stocking supporters that look rather like American skeleton waists. Unfortunately the ad copy is only fragmentary.
We do not know the name of the catalog. We have found some German catalog items, but they are only fragments and not identified. We do not know what catalog they came from. We do not even know if it was a mail order company catalog or a local store catalog. The style suggests it was not a newspaper ad. The style of the illustrations may eventually help us identify it. Hopefully our German readers will have some insights as go the identity of the catalog and the date.
We are not sure about the manufacturrs. One item (No. 115) is named "Foster". This seems to be the manufactur. We know nothoing about the company, but the name suggests that it is an English company exporting to Germany. We also note the name "Hygiene" being used. We are not sure if this is a company or brand name. At this time we do not know of any German manufacturrs. This seems rather strange given how common long stockings were in Germany.
While the catalog is unidentified, it is almost certainly German because of the German-language description of the various items. Of course Austrian or Swiss is possible, but German is much more likely because of the relative populations and econonmic importance of the German Empire. A German reader writes, "Foster-Hosenträger und Strumpfhalter sounds like this is imported from an English speaking country. Foster is not German name." And HBC does not yet know of a German manufactur of these stocking supporters. Although only the one stocking suupporter (No. 115) is identified as a Foster product. This also helps date the catalog. It could not have been dated after 1914 when World War I broke out.
The catalog image we found here was also not dated. We also do mot know the date of the catalog. We believe it might be some time in the 1900s, but we are not enirely sure about that. The style of the catalog presentations suggests the 1900s to us, but the 1910s is possible, although not later than 1914 when Wrld War I broke out. A reader writes, "One clue to the dating is the extremely short stockings which barely cover the knee, which means that, for boys, the knee pants would have to be quite long, extending at least to the knee and probably a
bit below the knee. I think the date would have to be no later than 1900 and may actually be from as early as the 1880s or early 1890s. We note that German boys by the 1910s are wearing much longer stockings. But I haven't been able to locate any German images on HBC of boys wearing long stockings pre-1910. I bet you could come up with some. Our chronology pages seem to begin about 1910. [HBC note: Yes, while we have done a good bit of work on Germany in the 20th century, our 19th century information is still limited.] Another clue to the dating is the long underwear worn by all the models. Of course German children wore long underwear with long stockings at later periods, but this became increasingly less common, I believe, by the 1910s and 1920s." I think the lithography has to be taken into account here. Our reader is probably correct that the catalog here does not date to the 190s. HBC believes, however that it probably does not date the tge 1880s or 90s, although the very late 1890s may be apossibility. The lithography of the 1880s was still fairly primitive. And 1890s only slightly improved. This changed around the turn of the centuty, give or take a few years. (This is also about the same time that becaise of improved lithography we begin to see hotographs being reproduced in magazines and newspapers. Previously they had to be printed as engravings.) Also notice the graphic styling of the page. We don't think you can find 1880s or even 1890s pages done quite like the catalog here.
As in America, long stockings were very commonly worn in Germany during the early 20th century. Black long stockings were particularly popular and worn by both voys and girls. The most prominent country where long stockings were worn was Germany. Long stockings were worn in Germany in the late 19th century much as they were in many other European countries. Most boys wearing keepants wore them. We have, however, limited information on German boys' clothes during the 19th century. We have more informtion in the 20th century. There were, however, great geographical, cultural and social differences concerning the wearing of long stockings.After World War II, long stockings became less cinnon for older bioys, but children in primary schools still commonly wore them--especially during the cooler weather. In this respect, Germany diuffered from trends in Western Europoe.
The popularity of long stockings meant that devices were needed for children to hold the stockings up. Many German mothers used ad hoc approaches, but stocking supporters as seen here were also available. Here we see Three different styles of stocking supporters. They are stocking supporters that look rather like American skeleton waists.
This catalog offered three different support devices for children. They were designed for both supporting trousers and skirts and long stockings. Unfortunately the ad copy is only fragmentary.
We are not sure what Foster (possibly Poster) means in German. Perhaps it is the manufacturer. A German reader agrees. We think that that the German Hosenträger und Strumpf-????? (probably Strumpfhalter) meant trouser and stocking supporters. We thought it might be Strumpfhosen, but tgey seem to have been introduced much later, perhaps about 1950. The illustration shows them holding up stockings, but they could be used to hold up trousers and skirts as well, although buttons are not shown on the waist band. Note that a boy and girl are used in the illustration, thus indicating thzt it was a garment for both boys and girls. Note that there is just one support point for the stockings which might thus fall down somewhat on the opposite side of the leg. It is not real clear, but I think there was a button on the stockings which do not seem to cover the knee.
This support garment is illustrated by the boy at the right. Unfortunately we do not yet have the ad copy describing it or providing us the name.. Looks to be just shoulder straps and waistband. If you look carefully, however, you can see a stap running down the outside leg to hold up the stockings. The method of attachment is unclear. As only a boy is shon in the illustration, we do not know if girls also wear this style. Note the "Lochband", the elastic strip with the holes to attach the stockings at the desired length at the buttons. A reader writes, "The boy on the extreme right is wearing the German equivalent of a suspender waist (very similar to the American Kazoo waist in many respects including the twine or leather ends on the suspenders for fastening onto his trousers."
This was billed as a hygenic support garment. We are not sure why it would have been more hygenic than the others. It is possible that Hygiene could have been the manufacturer or brand name. Krenz means cross in German. It refers to the the crossing of the shoulder straps (probably also on the back side) as can be seen in the illustrations. Leibchen means a waist suit or support garment. This seems different than other German Leibchens we have noted. This one seems more like a skeleton waist than a waist suit. Also as a girl is shown wearing it, we do not know if it was also for boys. Even more curious is what the purpose of the garment was. It is not shown as holding up the girl's stockings, unless there was a support strap running from the interior of the waustband down under her dreawes. I supose it could have been used to hold up a skirt.
One of the interesting differences shown here is that the hose supporters suspended from these various waists all have single clasps as opposed to the double, Y-shaped pendants that were almost universal in American support garments as well as individual hose supporters such
as Hickory, Velvet Grip, Athleta, Buster Brown, etc.
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