* CIH / HBC tools

HBC Tools

Figure 1.--This American boy looks to have been photographed about 1920. He wears button-on shirts with strap shoes. The strap shoes still have button fastenings.

Here are a variety of tools. The tools will help you better utilize HBC or find the information in our substantial site that you are looking for. Some background is provided for academic research. The glossary is also an index that will help you quickly find pages of interest. There are even glossaries in several different foreign languages which help our foreign readers navigate HBC. There are also many otherways to search or obtain information fom HBC.

Academic Research

The academic world is giving increasing attention to children and related academic social studies. Academic research and conferences are addressing a wide range of issues concerning children. Our research on fashion is one small part of the overall academic effort.


Bibliographies of books about historical clothing styles. This is a page I have just begun, but that is important to direct future research.


We welcome your contributions to HBC. It is your many varied contributions that really make HBC interesting. Click here for some ideas on how and what to contribute. Perhaps you have some ideas of your own. Please give come consideration to this section as it is critical to our ability to build and maintain an interesting, informative site for you.

Childhood Definitions

HBC has noted a wide range of definitions of childhood. This is important as HBC focuses on childhood and adolsenct clothing. Not only are there various definitions, but these definitions have changed over time. The term teenager as a distince development phase, for example, is a very modern notion. These varying concepts of childhood are clearly mirroed in dress styles.


HBC has received requests from vintage clothing collectors concerning buying and selling vintage clothing. We have decided to begin archiving information for collectors here.


Many readers have submitted a variety of interesting comments about HBC. We welcome your comments. We appreciate the kind recognition of our work and the helpful suggestions about how to improve the site.

Computer Settings

Please look here to see our suggestiins as to how your computer should be set to best read HBC. Please report any problems you encounter in reading a HBC page, such as oversized fonts or broken lnks. HBC was created at a time when Netscape was the principal browser. The site is thus designed to be best viewed in Netscape. Of course Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) is now the most commonly used browser. We are thus gradually shifting our settings to those designed more for IE. Of course this will take some time and in some cases we do not know yet how to correct some problems. For details and some other technical information about our site look here. We are of course anxious to hear from readers who might have some idea about how to improve the settings and HTML codings or who have other technical suggestions.

Difficult Images

Some specific images are very difficult to assess. Unlike many paintings, no background is available on the subject in the photographs. There are problems in determining the country, time period, social class, and gender of the children pictured. Here are some images that I have had difficulty assessing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the many varied questions you have been asking about our site. Just let me know if you think any other questions should be addressed here. These are questions about the site and how it is organized and not questions about boys' clothing. These questions are addressed in clothing below.


Geographic questions often come up on the various HBC pages. In many cases all we know about a photograph is where it was taken. A reader has found a useful town locator. Just enter an adress and "there it is".

Graphic Selectors

Select subjects of interest graphically. Just one loaded so far, but I plan to load more in the future.


We have begun to build a glossary of boys' clothing terms. As boys clothes until the 19th century was the sane as adult male clothing, we have included many applicable men's clothing terms. We have also included some women's terms as younger boys commonly wore dresses until the 20th century.

Links to Other Clothing Sites

Other web sites with interesting information about children's clothing. Please forward me the URLs of any sites you think should be listed here.

New Image and Pages

Recently added or updated pages and new images that you may want to have a look at. Please note that the new page listings are only available to HBC contributors. Of course we welcome you to become a contributor. It is very easy and inexpensive.
Photograph Guide

Interpreting old photographs, drawings, and paintings can be very difficult. The fashion of leaving younger boys in curls and dresses means that it is often difficult to determine a child's gender. This makes it very difficult to assess fashion trends. While there is no foolproof method, I have assembled some guidelines which can help determine gender with a fair degree of accuracy.


This web sites addresses many questions about boys' clothes. Have a look at some of the questions we are currently concerned with. Feel free to suggest any additional questions that should be addressed or that occur to you after visiting the site.

Some HBC readers might be interested in where HBC readers come from. As might be expected for an English-language site, over half of our readers come from America or Britain. We also are visited by readers in many other countries, primarily European countries. We have had had visits from people in virtually every country in the world, with a few exceptions such as North Korea. The number of visitors from some countries, however, is very small.

Research: Clothing

HBC has collected a wide varierty of paintings, drawings, and since the 1840s, photographs, illustrating boys' fashions. We have now begun to search through old magazines and journals to see what fashion advisors and parents had to say about the fashions. We are also interested in what boys had to say on the matter, however, their views were not considerd to be of great importance until recent years,.HBC has found a number of on-line resources at which that research can be persued.

Reserch: General

There are many useful on-line providing tools for reserchers that HBC uses and may prove useful to both HBC readers an other reserchers. We will add pearticularly useful sites here for our readers. Do let us know if you find a useful site.


HBC has received numerous requests from readers on where to purchase classically styled boys clothes. We have begun to collect details on such retailers. If you know of any or have comments on their merchandise, please advise HBC.

Search HBC

Is there a specific question or topic you would like to search? If you are having trouble finding it, click here. HBC has some suggestions as to how to find it. In addition HBC has its own internal search engine. Or there are other fashion search engines that you might find useful.

Search the Internet

HBC was one of the increasing small number of groups that has stayed with Netscape. We launched our internet searches from a Netscape search page. We noted the Netscape is constantly tinkering with that page loading ads which slow down the ability to load the page. Now they have begun tinkering with the results so that the cached pages do not show. This we have created this page for readers who want to persue a subject encountered in HBC. We now generally use Google for our searches, but there are several other useful search engines. Click here and go directly to a page with direct links to Google and other useful search engines.

Site Index

Many internet sites have a tree and branch diagram or outline index to help visualize the organizational structure and to follow all the various categories and sub-categories. This is in fact an enormous undertaking for a site the size of HBC. We have created a basic index and if readers find it useful, we will work with them to create a more detailed site index.

Submit Comments

Submit your questions, queries, and comments on the HBC automatic submission page. Let us know what you think of HBC.


Our general practice is to source each HBC page as appropriate. Many od these sources or historial works or other publications including newspapers and magazines. Of course often a photograph or painting is our basic source of information on many HBC pages. It occured to us that it might be useful to build a bibliography of works which have specifically addressed children's clothing. The books on fashion are virtually countless. There is a much more limited number of works which have addressed cgildren's fashions.


HBC is an English-language site. We have tied to write the various pages in internet English so the various nationalities of English speakers (from America to India) as well as non-native English speakers can read and understand it. If you find that some HBC pages use American colloquial English, please advise and we will correct it. Non-English speaking readers can always use the Altavista translation facility which provides a ready (if not always reliable) translation to several major languages.

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Created: August 5, 2001
Last updated: 11:54 AM 3/29/2020