Figure 1.--This CDV photograph was made from a painting of John Hardcastle about 1830. He is wearing what appears to be a skeleron suit that is evolving into a modern modern suit style. Image courtesy of the MD collection.
This is a photograph of a painting of John Hardcastle, presumably the family patriarch, when he was a child. At the time of the 1881 census John Hardcastle was 59 years old and retired from his occupation of 'Merchant'. He looks to be about 8 years old in the painting which would date it around 1830, he was born in Abingdon, now in Oxfordshire but formerly the county town of Berkshire. He is wearing what appears to be a skeleron suit that is evolving into a moder modern suit style. Is is difficult to tell from the image if he is wearing a vest (waistcoat) or ome kind of one-oiece vest-trouser garmnt. He has a kind of square lace collar which he wears with a small bow. He looks to be about 6 years old in the portrait shown here. His hair is cut relatively short here. Notice the hoop that he is playing with (figure 1). The rod was used to keep the hoop rolling as the boy ran along with it. Boys loved to roll these hoops. They were not made as tops, but rather were used to strengthen wooden barrels. Barrrels in the 19th century was a common item used to transport a variety of items, mostly liquids and other edible products. Thus there was a ready supply of hoops to be had.
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