Boys' Clothing for Different Activities: Oratory

Figure 1.--

A popular activity in the 19th and and early 20th century was a variety of oratorical competitions. This included both speeches and recitations. The recitations were particularly common for younger boys. These oritorical competitions are now less common, although this varies from country to country. Another oritorical activity is debate. There was no uniform of course for such reciations, but boys often were dressed up in their finest outfits as mother wanted to ensure a good impression. Some boys had especially elaborate oratorical costumes. Here a good example is an American boy in the 1890s, Roy Chapman Hodgson. Most children did these reciations. I think that they were more common for boys than girls who might instead play a piece of music. This requires further research. Oratorical skills are most associated with schools, but schools were not the only places children performed. Some reciataions were also done in school classrooms and chosen children might do them at school asseemblies or presentations for parents. There were also competitions prganized by churches and and civic organizations. We have seen these oratorical scenes depicted in many movies. A good example is "Ah, Wildrerness!" (1935).


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Created: 11:13 PM 8/27/2006
Last updated: 11:13 PM 8/27/2006