Austrian Boys Clothes: Family Trends--Budapest Brothers

Figure 1.--These Austrian brothers were photographed in 1911. They lived in Budapest while Hungary was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a few years before the onset of World War I. The boys wear a sailor suit, a regular suit, a military school cadet uniform, and an army uniform. Note the younger boy's close cropped hair. Apparently only two of the boys attended militry school. Image courtesy of the MD collection.

Here we do not have information on the entire family. We do know that there were four brothers. While they lived in Budapest, Hungary, we believe that they were an Austrian family. We do not have information on the other members of the family, but we have very extensive information on the brothers over an exteded period, 1892-1911. As we result we have decided to include them her in the family section.

The Boys

This Austrian family had four brothers. While they appear to have lived in Budapest, they spoke German and thus were presumably Austrian. They also appear to have had German relatives, including grandmother who may have lived in Germany (Frankfurt). These images were all acquired in Frankfurt. This set of images show how the boys were dressed over a 20-year period.


Pisti was the older brother. He was born about 1891. A 1895 portrait shows Pisti in 1895 wears a destinctive kneepants suit. It has a hint of sailor styling with perhaps some destinctive Hungariam embroidery. He attended military school, entering at about age 12. Aftr that he seems to have mostly worn his cadet uniform--even when on vacation with the rest of the family. He appears to have become an officer in the Imperial Army. We wonder what happened to him in World War I.


Viki was the next oldest brother. He was born about 1895. As a younger brother he was often dressed like his older brother Pisti in identical outfits. There mother seems quite fond of dressing the boys alike. As an older boy, once Pisti had entered military school, Viki was dressed in identical outfits with younger brother Villy. Sailor suits were one of the most common idential outfits in which the boys were dressed.


Villy was the third brother. He was born about 1899. One photograph shows Villy at about age 3 wearng a white dress. It is unclear to HBC just when the boys were breached. A portrait of Viki at about age 3 shows him wearing a kneepants suit. Most of the available portraits show him wearing sailor suits, often identical suits with the ones Viki wore. Unlike his two older brothers, I am not sure Villy entered military school. Villy might have avoided World War I, but was old enough to have ben swept up into the final years of the War.


The youngest brother is Fredy. He was born about 1906. Like his older brothers that he wore sailor suits. He was about 5 years old when the last picture was taken in 1911. Fredy unlike his older brothers would not have been caught up in World War I.

Unidentified Image

The images in the pages for these Budapest brothers are all neatly identified with the brothers first name on the back and usually with the date. They are all studio portraits. We also have one snap shot, which we believe to be the younger brother, Fredy. It looks to have been taken about 1908, but this is only a rough estimte.


As there were four boys born over about a 10 year period from about 1891-1901?, the family photogtraphs provide a wonderful overview of the various garments worn by Austrian boys in the late 19th and early 20th century from 1891-1911. The available images thus provide an excellent view of what Austrian boys wore at the turn of the 20th century. We are unsure how living in Budapest may have affected their clothing.


The boys in this family appears to have worn dresses as little boys. Wide-brimmed sailor hats were popular with as younger boys, probably with dresses and without sailor suits. After breeching they appear to have worn various kneepants outfits. The boys wore Eton collars and floppy bows with their suits. They also wore several different types of sailor suits. All or most of the boys appear to have attended military school and thus wore cadet uniforms.

Identical Outfits

Some of the boys were dressed in identical outfits, at least the brothers cloest in age. Their parents believed in age appropriate clothing. Because more thn 10-years seem to have separeated the oys, they were never all dressed identically. Two of the brothers were, however, at times dressed identically. This appears to have been especilly true of the two oldest boys. One portrait in 1900 shows the two oldest boys wearing kneepants suits with large buttons.


Some of the photographs are taken by a court photographer of her Majesty of Austria-Hungary Ferdinand Carl named A. Kaldori. He had perhaps two shops: One at Linz, Spitelwiese 5, the other at Wien, Alserstr. 39. The Golden Exhibition medal was awarded to him, as well. At left the text says: These plate is kept for further reorders. A reader writes, "It is amazing how the photographer used his perhaps only one session with the archduke Ferdinand Carl to promote his business. He uses some abbreviations on the studio plaque like sr.k.u.k. (in full: seiner königlichen und kaiserlichen). Austria was a double monarchy with Hungary, Franz Joseph was at the same time king of Hungary and emperor of Austria. So Herr Kaldori (possibly a Hungarian himself) advertises that he is the court photographer of His Royal and Imperial Serene Highness the archduke Ferdinand Carl."

Family Identity

Obviously this family were affluent and perhaps the father was an important government official. The affluence and the fact that two boys attended military school suggest that their father may have been a prominent official. While they lived in Budapest, they apparently were Austrians as they appear to have spoke German. We know this because the boys' first names were common German names and the family apparently spoke German in peronal communications. See for example the back of the 1903 portrait. The text on the back of the the 1898 photo reads, "Cordial greeting and hand kiss your loving grandkids Pisti, Viki and Velly. A German reader tells us, "Budapest at that time (1903) had a large German-speaking population, so I am not surprised that the boys wrote in German to their grand-mother." The photos shown here appear to be prints sent to the boys' grandparents--possibly in Germany as they were purchased from a Frankfurt dealer. The family on occassion traveled to Austria as one photograph was taken in Linz. It is a shame that the wondrful portraits shown here are still not with the original family--at least they are archived together. Often, the pictures would be sold individually and the connection lost. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a descendant of these boys saw the pictures on HBC and provided some background information on the family.


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Created: April 18, 2002
Last updated: 6:56 PM 5/5/2009