Figure 1.--The brothers are the sons of the Venezuelan Ambassador to England. They were photographed in 1936 wearing Eton styled suits--although the children are much to young for Eton school. They are a good example of the European styles favored by the Venezuelan elite. Note the younger boy's floppy bow.
Venezuela like other Latin American countries had a social structure with a very small elite class which dominates the country and a very large lower or working class. The realtively small middle class has been less important than in Europe. Venezuela is different than in many other Latin American countries in that the lower class is not also a ethnic minority. Also theoil wealth has helped to signifiacntly expand the niddle class since the 1950s. Historically the clothing styles of the upper class was basically European. Thus boys in upper-class families looked much like Europeans. Since the 1960s this has changed. But while Eton suits were still stylish, upper class boys wore them--but only boys from the small upper class and perhaps some middle class boys.
A British reader comments, "I ought to point out that it's more likely that the boys are wearing Etons because they attended an exclusive London school and the family moved in British upper class society. The picture is taken in London after all--not
Caracas! Perhaps when they reached the tropic heat, the boys were allowed more comfortable dress." This is a possibility. They are at a train station and could theoretically be on the way to a preparatory school. (In England a preparatory school is a private school for primary-age children.) The boys, however, are very young. HBC knows of no preparatory school that had a uniform like this. The two younger children are too young even for a prep school. Thus HBC thinks it is unlikely that this is their school uniform.
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