It is also useful to look at family images. They provide a range of interesting fashion and cultural insights. It is interesting to see what other members of the family were wearing over time. Family portraits provide interesting time capsules showing what girls and parents were wearing with the various boy fashions we discuss on HBC. Also we can better assess social class factors when we can view the entire family. Other trends such as family size and interpersonal dynamics can also be observed in these family portraits. We do not have many Swiss family portraits yet, but we have begun to collect them.
Conrad Hitz lived in both Germany and Switzerland and created many portraits anf genre paintings. Here we have a portrait of the Paul Kessler-Trümpi family. We do not yet know much about the family. The name suggests that they were Swiss. Hitz painted the portrait in 1840. This was at a time that we begin to see Daguerreotype portraits of individuals, but rarely family groups. Thus portraits like this are very useful. The family was clearly a prosperous middle-class (bourguoise family). The portrait provides a lot of information about period families.
Here we see an unidentified Swiss family (figure 1). All we know about the family is that they were from Zurich. The portrait is undated, but we would guess it was taken in the 1890s. Notice how the boys are dressed identically.
A HBC reader has provided us a wonderful account of his childhood sand family. He tells us, "I was born in 1936 at the village of Montana. I was the youngest of 5 children. I had two older brothers and two old sisters. My father was an medical doctor who directed a Hospital for Swiss Military who had become ill of tuberculosis. My father was of Dutch ancestry, but was born in Germany and raised and educated in Switzerland. Montana is located high above the Rhome Valley in Switzerland. This is the part of the predominately French speaking area of Switzerland. The villagers were French speaking and Roman Catholic. We lived through the World War II as a very young boy. I do not remember much of the early years because I was so young. I recall more of the later years. These were very difficult years, even though Switzerland was not invaded by the Germans. Even so, I had a lovely childhood. I do recall my Scouting and school experiences. I was a keen Scout and joined the Cubs in 1945. At age 11 in 1949 I began boarding school and went to the same school for 8 years."
This photograph shows the Stadler family, a farm family near Attinghausen (Uri canton), They were photographed during World war II on June 27,1942. They alredy had 11 children. The elder son looks to be 12 or 13 years old, and the younger ones are two twin babies. We can assume that later the family had other children. They were opresumably a Catholic family. The boys wear long short pants held up with suspenders. The younger girl wears a pinafore. Some of the children are bsrefoot and others wear shoes.
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