*** boys clothes: Austrian family trends

Austrian Boys Clothes: Family Trends

Austrian families
Figure 1.--We had thought these brothers were Hungarian. We have since learned that they were Austrian boys living in Budapest. They were photographed in 1905. The oldest brother wears his cadet uniform from military school. His two younger brothers wear intical sailor suits. The boys were 6, 10, and 14 years old. The boys were photographed in an styalized boat, presumably to go with the boys' sailor suits. "Siofok" is a holiday resort town on Lake Balaton in Hungary. Presumably the photograph was taken during a family vacation. Note that the older boy wears his cadet uniform rather than a sailor suit even on vacation.

Here we will follow family fashions over time. HBC has decided to also gather information on entire families. One of the limitations of HBC is that too oftn we just view boys' clothing in contex with what the rest of the family was wearing. This will help to compare boys' clothing with that worn by mothers, fathers, and sisters. These images will help show show differences in both age and gender appropriate clothing. Here we are still beginning to collect information. Austria is a relatively small country and we have have had trouble finding many family images, but we have found several including 19th century images. The 19th century are skeweed toward the wealtier classes, but they are fascinaing to look at.

The 19th Century

Family Odolek (1826)

Waldemüller painted several family prtraits. While we have the dates for those portraits we knowvery loyyle about the family other than the father's family name. Perhps this information exits and we will be abke to add it, but at ths time we have been unable to find it. The family here is the family Odolek. And we know nothing about them. But there are wonderful depiction of popular fashion. Of course we are here talking about the elite of Austrian, probably Vienese, society who could afford a painted portrait from a talented artist. Father seems to be wearing two coats with a high collar. Mother wears a dress with a low neckline and an elaborate curled hairdo that had red bows mixed within the curls. Their two boys who look to be about 3-7 years old wear skeleton suits with elaborate open collars wihout neckwear. Their suits have black jackets and white/tan long pants. The older boy has ringlet curls. The younger boy's hair has not yet been curled.

Family Neuhaus (1827)

Here we know something bout the family. It is the family of Legation councillor Theodor Joseph Ritter von Neuhaus (c1770-1855). Legation councillor we thinks means an importanstaff member at diplomatic post. He is pictured with his wife Albertine and their children Theodor and Berta. The children look to be bout 3-8 yrars old. The portrait was painted in 1827. Farther wears a double-nreasted jacket with a shirt front and long tails. Mother is real fashion plate. Dhe has an amazing straw hat. She had satiny dress with diaphonous sleeves. One thing I find fascinating about woman's fashions is the length we see here thst they went to hide legs but had no problem with low mecklines. Note Berta's pantlettes, but the low necklines on their sresses. Notice how similat the girl's dress is to mother dress. The msjor difference is Berta's the higher hem line, but pantalettes were used to make sure that her legs were covered. Theodor weears a short blue jacket and striped pants. The large open collar is similar to those worn on skeleton suits, but his outfit does not seem to be skeleton suit. This is a little difficult to detrmine because the boy's arm covers the waistline.

Eltz Family (1834)

Waldmüller painted a lot of genre images. This painting has the look of a genre image, but is actually a commissioned family portrait. The family is that of Dr. Josef August Eltz in 1834. It is unusual in that most family portrait were painted in or near the home. Here we have the family on vacation in the mountains. The family seems very well dressed for a mountain vacation. In addition to the mountain scenery we have wonderful details on how a well-to-do Austrian family dressed. We are not sure if this was affected by a montain vacation or this was simply their normal every day attire. The adults seem to be wearing normal attire, hardly chosen for outdoor mountain wear. Dr. Eltz wears a dark coat as was common at the time. He also wears light trousers, and dark cravats for daywear. The women's and girls' sleeves were gigantic, as large as they would ever get--huge gigot sleeve. The boys wear buff-colored belted knee-length tunics with yokes and full sleeves over trousers. We suspect that this was seen as outfits suitable for the nountains nd outdoor activities. The girls wear white dresses with colored aprons, again we suspect this was seen as outdoor activity wear--at least for boys in well-to-do families. Waldmüller left us several peasant genre images and peasant children clearly do not wear tunics.

Family Gierster (1838)

Here again, we know nothing about the Gierster family. We do know the portrait was taken in 1938. Father looks to be a miltary office. I think he is holding a dress helmet. His wife looks a little miffed, rare in portarits like this. She wears a satiny dress with a low neckline. There are five children about 1-13 years old. There are two boys and two girls, and the baby. The way they are posed, we can only see the outfits of two of the children. The younger boy wears a purple skirted garment. We are not sure if it is a tunic or dress. The girl in front wears a blouse and strapped red skirt. Her hair style is interesting. Notice that the girls have hair styles in which their ears were exposed. We can see that the girl at the back had ringlet curls and a dress with a low neckline.

Schegar family (1842)

Here we have one of Johann Baptist Reiter's family portraits--the Schegar family (1842). Unfortunately we know nothing about the family other than they were obviously a large and wealthy, presumably Viennese family. They are in the garden of their impressive home. There are seven children who look to be about 1/2-14 years old. both boys and girls. It is a wonderful family portrait that any Viuennbese family would have loved to hang in the family parlor. It is a tour de force of 1840s Austrian children's fashions. Notice that there was no convention for suits with matching jackets and apnts. The younger boys wear a colorful dress and tunic.

Unidentified Peasant Family (1840s?)

Here we can see a young peasant family from a painting by the Austrian painter Ferdinand Georg Waldmuller. We are not sure when the family was painting, probably about the 1840s. Paintings are usually dated so we should eventually be able todate it. We seen four young childen to aboyt 6-7 years of age. Lederhosen and bare feet were the norm for Austrian peasant children. The Lederhosen are the long type mase like 18th century knee breeches. Folk clothing styles did not change rapidly like main-stream fashions andthus can not be easily dated. . The boys are dressed identically. Notice that their H-bar halters are not crossed in the back. Notice thst father and the boys wear identical outfits eceot that father has shoes. The younger firls seems to wear a long green pinafore.

Unidentified Vienna Family (1861)

This CDV portrait was taken in Vienna at the Langerer photographic studio. The portrait shows a fashionable Vienna mother and her three young children. They all look to be about 4-5 years old. The children wear dresses. The oldest child wears plaid dress with what looks like a matching wrist purse. Notice this child's hair side part. We think this child may be a boy, but we are not at all sure. He also has plain white pantalettes. The other children are very young. Included in the portrait is a great period baby carriage. The portrait was taken in 1861.

Unidentified Vienna Family (late-1860s)

This family cabinet card portrait shows a mother with her four children, three boys and a girl. They look to be about 4-13 years old. The portrait is undated, but looks like the late-1860s. Mother wears a volyminous dress which was common in the second half of the 19th century. The girl wears an aproned dress with white long stockings. The older boys wear identical single-breasted suits with long pants. Notice the small neckwear. The younger boy wears a collar-buttoning jacket and knickers. Shortened-length pants only appeared at mid-century. And were at first only worn by younger boys, like the boy here. Only slowly did older boys begin wearing then. Notice the boys' short cropped hair, common in Gernany and much of eastern and central Europe.

Rich Vienna Family(1870s)

Here we have an unidentified rich Vienna family. We have no idea who they are, but the way they are dressed tells us that they were from a wealthy family. Compare them to a more modest Austrian family at about the sane time. We think they might be royalty, but do not recognize them. Perhaps they are aristocrats or rich commoners. Perhaps Austrian readers will have some idea. There are four children. They children look to be about 6-13 years old. The girls wear fancy decorative dresses with low neck lines and high sleeves. Nitice the siocks. In America guls almost lways wiore long stockings. Notice the one girl's hat, not exactly what one might think. The boys wear collar buttoning jackets with a little piping. They have small white collars with extended tails. The decoration is continued on the matching knicker pants. At the time, shorter cut pants were just beginning to become really important. They have white long stockings with low-cut slipper shoes. At the time, high-top shoes were common. Notive the wide belts which are entirely decorative. Their long hair is interesting. We suspect the children are being tutored at home. Many Austrian school boys at thev time had close-cropped hair. And most boys this age did not have long hair like this. Wealthy cvhildren were exceptions. The photographer was Victor Angerer (1839-94). He had a very prestigious Vienna studio operated wityh his brothefr fither Ludwig. The Vienna studio is why we believe this was a Vienna family. Interestingly, Angerer records his natiionlity as Cisleithania, not Austrian. Cisleithania was the Austrian portion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Budapest Brothers (1892-1911)

Here we do not have informtion on the entire family. We do know that there were four brothers. While we do not have information on the other members of the family, we have very extensive informtion on the brothers over an exteded period, 1892-1911. As we result we have decided to include them her in the family section. This 20-year period provide a wonderful look at boys' fashions at the turn of the 20th century. We at first thought the boys were Hungarian, but we hve since learned that they were probably Austrian.

The 20th Century

Federn Family (1910s-30s)

Dr. Paul Federn is a Vienese psychologist strongly associated with Sigmun Freud. Paul was born in Vienna (1871). His father, Solomon Federn, was an important Viennese doctor who did pioneering work in blood. His mother was a Protestant. Paul was raised arotestant in largely Catholic Austria. An uncle was a renounded Prague rabbi. Paul grew up in a family with a liberal outlook. He was a bright boy and a good student. He earned a medical degree (1895. He interned in general medicine under Dr. Hermann Nothnagel. He introduced him to ground-breaking works of psychologist Sigmund Freud. He was particularly impressed with Freud's Interpretation of Dreams. He changed his career from general mediciune to psychoanalysis (1904). Along with Alfred Adler, Wilhelm Stekel, and Rudolf Reitler, he became one of Freud's earliest and most important disciples. He developed a successful practice. He and his wife Wilma, a Catholic, had three children, Annie (1905- ), Walter (1911- ), and Ernst (1914- ). Their mother was Catholic and the children were raised Catholics. We see the family here right after World War I (1922). Both the clothe and hair are notable. Ernst wears Tracht with Lederhosen. This shows how assimilated the family were. Jewish boys were cless likely to wear Tracht. Their hair is much longer that was customary for boys this age. We sometimes see boys from well-to-do families with longer hair. We wonder if the boys were tutored at home. Freud made Federn and Anna Freud, his official representative and vice president of the Vienna Society. Federn held that position until the Anchluss (1938). With his international reputation and connections. Federn was able to get out of NAZI Austria (annexed to the Reich) Germany and emigrated to America (1938). The family except for Ernst accompanied their father to America. He became a Communist in his youth. As a Misching, associted with Freud, and a Communist, his life must have been difficult in Vienna after the Anchluss. Ernst was eventually arrested by the Gestapo, although we do not know the circumstances. He was interned in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp where he was liberated by the Amerucabns (April 1945). He became a noted author ficusing on the sociology and psychology of prison life. His father committed suicide in New York after the recurrence of what he concluded was an incurable cancer (1950).

Van Trapp Family (1920s-30s)

The von Trapp saga begins in 1910, when distinguished naval commander Georg von Trapp met Agathe Whitehead at a ball. Not only was it love at first sight, it was an almost royal match. Captain von Trapp was as distinguished a war commander in Austria as Eisenhower was in America following World War II. And the von Trapp-Whitehead marriage had the same mythical aura as that of the Kennedy-Bouvier union. When Agathe died, von Trapp was inconsolable. According to Johannes von Trapp, his father was as devastated by the end of his naval career as by the loss of his wife: "My father's life was the navy." explained Johannes, "He was uncomfortable doing anything else. He was simply lost." After the loss of their mother, the children had an endless parade of governesses. One would be hired for the older children, one for the younger, and one to run the household. But the children wanted to have just one governess, and Maria seemed to be a perfect fit. Maria married Captain Von Trapp on November 26, 1927. This is the story that has been made immortalized by the "The Sound of Music". When Captain von Trapp lost his fortune after the Austrian national bank folded, the children had to learn how to work, doing laundry and other household chores. They looked at their misfortune as an adventure, but their father was hit hard by the loss. According to Hirsch's book, this new life was abruptly halted when Hitler invaded Austria. The Captain brought his family together and said, "We are standing at the open grave of Austria." He asked them if they wanted to stay or to leave. Despite the hardships sure to face them, they had no moral choice but to depart. Although it was a terrible blow to leave their home and all their belongings behind, when they learned that Himmler himself had taken over their house, their grief was almost unbearable.

Austrian farm family (1930s)

A family snapshot shows six young siblings from an Austrian farm family. The family is not identified. It was taken in 1936 in the Tennengau Region near Salzburg. We know that later three more sibling were born in 1938, 1939 and 1945. Farm families could be quite large. Looking at the boys one might think they were from a low-income family. Looking at the home in the background, however, we get the impression that the family had a good sized farm. Children in the country, even fairly well-to-do families often did not dress as smartly as city families.

Koschuh family (1981)

The photo was taken in Graz during 1981. It shows a father with his four sons. The family name is Koschuh. The four boys' names are Werner, Hans, Toni and Max. Two boys wear "T"-shirts, the oldr boy wears a collared shirt. The boys all wear rather longish shorts. Shorter cut shorts had become popular earlier, but longish shorts like this were becoming popular in Frnce and appently in Austria as well. Shorter shorts were still popular in Ameruca and Britain. One boy is barefoot. The three older boys looks to be about 6-10 years of age. We do not have any details about the family.

Other Families

We do not yet have infomation on other Austrian families.


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Created: April 18, 2002
Last updated: 9:16 PM 8/3/2023