New Zealand Boys' Clothes: Families


Figure 1.--This wonderful image shows a New Zealand family having a very English looking afternoom tea about 1905. The children are identified as " a girl and two boys". HBC is not positive about that the younger child with ringlets is a girl. That seems to be a rather unsual hair style for a girl. Both of the two older children wear sailor suits. Source: Archives New Zealand (Ref: 1/2-002362; F).

HBC has begun to collect information and images of families around the world. We believe that this helps to put the more individualized photographs of boys into a more complerte fashion and social context. These images not only show what the other menbers of the family (sisters, mothers, and fathers) were wearing, but also the homes and activities over time and of different social classes. Styles not only varied over time, but also on other variables such as social class. Such information is often difficult to discern from individua portraits. While the individual portraits provide more details on the actual fashions they often provide only cluses as to some of the sociological and historical trends which HBC is also pursuing.

The 19th Century

Our 19th century New Zealand archive is very limited. The British began to settle New Zealand at about the same time that photography developed. We have nothing from mid-century, but have archived a few images from the late-19th century. What we see is a mirror image of Britain.

Mckay Family (1844)

We note a wealthy Scottish family from the Highlnds preparing to sail to New Zealamd in 1844. Actually they departed from London, but wanted a painting depicting their Highland origins. Mckay wasn't their real name. We see the partirch, James Mckay Sr., surrounded buhis large family and blongings. They were a large family with six children and two nephews. As a result we have seveal examples of how Scottish boys dressed at the time. Two of the boys wear kilts, the other two a tunic and a dress, both with Scottish touches. The girls of course all wear dresses, but without Scottish touches. The artist painted the children's outfits in great detail. .

Unidentified Christchurch Family (about 1895)

Here we have a family portrait taken in in Christchurch, on the Southern Island of New Zealand. They are clearly a well-to-do enjoyingbafternoon tea--all very English. The portrait is undated, but the mother's blouse clearly dates the scene to the mid-1890s. At the time New Zealand was a British Dominion and the non-Maori population throughly British. A substantial part of the population was either born in Britain or had at least one parent born in Britain. The family is also dressed like the British--except for the children's barefeet. This is most visible differnce. That was already common in New Zealand even fir the well-to-do, but not in Britain--except among the poor. A major factor of course was the climate. The older boy wears a basic sailor suit. We are not sure about the younger boy, but his white outfit may be a tunic, it is a little unclear.

The 20th Century


Christchurch Family Outing (1902)

Here we have an unidentified New Zealand family, at least the female members on a family outing in 1902. We assume that there is a mix of grandmother, mothers, and perhaps an aunt in the family mix here. We assume that father took the snap shot. The snapshot is useful in dating women's fashions. Two of the women wear suit outfits. Notice how long the skirts are and the ladies are sittig down, causing the skirts to ruse up a bit. The snapshot is identified as Christchurch on South Island so we are guessing that it was a city park. The children look to be about unfer 1-6 years old. We are not sure what the little girl is holding, but she has aonderful bonnet. The boy wears a broad-brimmed hat, sweater, and knee pants. We have never note a boy wearing a broad-brimmed hat wit a sweater before. He is barefoot which was very common at the time, even for boys from families in comfortable circumstances. The snapshot also shows how people dressed up for outings, even to a city park.

Unidentified Family (1905)

This wonderful image shows a New Zealand family having afternoom tea about 1905. A very English-looking scene. They are also dressed like an English family. Without knowing the source, we could not have iknown that the family was from New Zealand. The children are identified as " a girl and two boys". HBC is not positive about that the younger child with ringlets is a girl. That seems to be a rather unsual hair style for a girl. Both of the two older children wear sailor suits.

Johnston Family (about 1905-10)

Mr, and Mrs. Johnston of New Zealand and their four children are seen here in a snapshot. The photo is undated but from the mother's long dress and the father's stiff detachable collar, I think this must be from the early 20th century, probably about 1905-10. Their teenage son (about 15 or 16?) wears a formal dress-up dark suit. The pants are a little difficult to make out. They are either straight-leg knee pants or above-the-knee knickers. All the children wear black long stockings. We aren't sure of the exact location within the country unfortunately.

Lineham Family (1924)

This photo was taken along the western Coast of South Island. It shows the Lineham family in 1924. For this photo portrait the family dressed up, so we can see how common was for New Zealander children to go barefoot and not only just for plsay or the warmer North Island. The older boy in the left side wears a suit with short trousers. He wears also a tie and has a pocket watch, but he doesn't wear any footwear. The younger boys are dressed alike in vest-like outfits I have never seen before.

Buckle Brothers (about 1929)

The Buckle family left England for New Zealand in 1911. Here we see a family portrait of the Buckle boys in the late 20s. We think all three boys were born in New Zealand. Two of the boys are dressed in identical sailor suits. All three are barefoot which was quite common in New Zealand. We are not sure if the sailor suits are more of a relection of English or New Zealand styles.

Addicott Family (1957)

Here we see the Frederick T. Addicott family about to set off to school in 1957. The children are Don, Jean, John, and David. All are dressed un their school uniform. The older boy in highschool wears a blue uniform and the younger boys grey uniforms.

Hilary Family

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary is surely the most famous Kiwi. The next best canduidate is Air Chief Marshal Keith Park, the commander of tha all important 11 Group during the Balle of Britain. Hilary is best known for climbing Mount Everest and for his humanitarian activities in Nepal. His grandparents emigrated from Yorkshire to northern Wairoa (mid-19th century) .His father served in World War I at Gallipoli with the 15th (North Auckland) Regiment and was allocated land in Tuakau south of Auckland. Edmund was born in Auckland after the War (1919). He attended Tuakau Primary School and then Auckland Grammar School (AGS), New Zealand's most prestigious public secondary school. He had finished primary school 2 years early and perhaps as a resuklt, earned only average marks. He was shorter than the other boys and rather shy. He grew taller and gained confidence after he began boxing. He got interested in climbing when he was 16 years old as a result of a school trip to Mount Ruapehu. This began his interest in tramping and traveling and love of the outdoors. His studies at Auckland University College focused on math and science. His first climbs was Mount Ollivier, near Aoraki / and Mount Cook in New Zealand's Southern Alps. His father was a bee keeper and he took up beekeeping. He joined the Radiant Living Tramping Club which promoted a philosophy developed by Herbert Sutcliffe. There were tours with the club through the Waitakere Ranges.







HBC





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Created: February 7, 2002
Last updated: 6:54 AM 2/5/2016