United States Boys' Clothes: 1890s Families


Figure 1.--.

We see a range of 1890s outfits in family portraits archived on HBC. Many mothers used age grading on outfits. Younger boys wore dresses. Some were done in boy styles. Plaid was popular for boys' dresses. After breeching boys might wear Fauntlroy suits, sometimes with ringlet curls. Boys very commonly wore sailor suits. There were a range of different suit styles. Boys often wore suit jackets that buttoned at the collar rather than more adult sack suits with lapels. Boys might just wear blouses during the summer. It was common to add lace or ruffled collars. The ruffled collars gradually replaced the lace collars as the decade progressed. Some mothers added large floppy bows. Kneepants became almost universal for boys and by the end of the decade quite old boys were wearing them. Boys commonly wore long stockings, although rural boys would go barefoot during the summer. A popular convention was to dress all the children alire or to coordinate their outfits. There were importnt regionzal and class differences.

1890: Cook Family (Missouri)

The photo was taken on August 14, 1890 in Greenfield, Missouri. It shows Napoleon Cook, Margaret Mitchell and eight of their children. Left to right back to front the children are: McFloyd (b. 1877), Mauna Loa (1874), Henry Cornelius (1872), Thomas Leslie (1881), Edith Viola (1886), Eudora (1879), William Andrew Jackson (1889) and Martha Melzora (1883). Another son (Ernest) was dead as a baby (1884) and the last daughter (Ina Euris) will be born in 1892. The child at the lower right front wearing a plaid dress looks like a boy, but she is a girl--Martha.

About 1890: Unidentified Family (Missouri)

This cabinent card is undated, but looks to have been taken about 1890. We are, however, not at all sure about this date. It easily could have been taken in the 1880s. The portrait is of a mother and her two children. We know the mother's name--Polly. But we do not know the children's names. All we have is the inscription, "Polly and the babies." So we are unsure about the gender of the children, but they certinly look like boys. Mother has dressed both in what look like matching or similar white dresses. The image does not provide a lot of detail. This type of dress - for boys - was quite common in the latter part of the 19th century. The oldr child on the left looks about 9 years old. The white dress he is wearing comes down to just below his knees. Notice his ears and hair. The boy on the right is seated. He looks about 5 years old, and is also wearing a shin-length white dress. He is holding, what appears to be, a toy stuffed animal in his lap. Mother looks a little haggard, but we would guess that the family was fairly affluent. This cabinet photograph was taken by Speake of 807 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

About 1890: Campbell Family (Alabama/Texas)

This is a great Texas family poertrait. The father was Charles C. Campbell, Charles was the sheriff of Marshall County, Alabama. His wife was Rebecca Teal. Their first five children are in the portrait. The portrait is undated, but was probably yaken about 1890. The family eventually consisted of seven children. last son was born in 1897. Afterwards they settled around Millersview, Concho County, Texas. Here the younger boys wear fancy white blouses, knee pants and are barefoot. This was very common at the time. The older boy to the right wears a three-piece long pants suit. Knee pants at the time were becoming standard for boys, but long pznts were still very common in rural areas. He looks to be about 10 years old.

About 1890: Unidentified Family (unknown state)

A HBC reader has set us an unidentified portrait of an American family. There are four children. All we know is that their mother was nammed Ella and that three of the four children are boys. The children wear an Eton collar, a Fauntleroy suit, and white dresses. We assume that the older child in the dress is a girl. We have seen boys wearing dresses like this child, but as the boy in the Fauntleroy suit looks younger, almost certainly this child is a girl. The children seem to be wearing long black tockings. One interesting aspect of this portrait is the headwear shown. One boy holds a cap. Two has for laid out in frint of the children. It is not immediately apparent who would wear the other two hats. In particular we do not now who would have worn the wide-brimmed hat with the white band.

1890?: City Family (Rhode Island)

Here we have a Rhode Island family showing three siblings. The portrait is unidentified and undated. We believe that it may have been taken about 1890. The older children are a boy and girl. We believe that the younger child wearing a plaid dress is also a boy. The portrait was taken in Westerly, Rhode Island. We believe that the children come from a prosperous city family.

1890s: Rural Family (Unknown state)

This rural family was taken outside their home by a itenerate photgrphy. Unfortunataely the family is unidentified and the portrit is udated. The dealer was in Missouri and we think thsat he portrait could have been taken in that area. The planks of the home were well worked. We doubt if it was taken earlier than the 1890s. The portrait is mounted on cardstock. It is a family of six, before a baic, but not ramshackle home. The older girl on the left has long, rather disheveled hair, and light patterned pinafore, large light bow, and whitecollar. Father wears a dark shirt and pants wtih suspenders. There are three youngr children wearing dresses. The two younger children are almost certainly boys. They wear very similar light-colored ginham dresses with eyelet lace collars. The third younger child we are not sure about. The child ,may be ak, but if so her hair is very short. She weares a dark dress with eyelet about neck and a string of beads. Mother has dark button up bodice dress and skirt with a chatelaine brooch at the collar, parted and pressed hair.

1890: Three Brothers (Ohio)

These three boys are presumaby brothers although they are unidntified. We do know tht the portrait was taken in 1890. The boys look to be about 2-13 years old. The boys outfirs are notable for the minimal Funtleroy items. The younger boy wears a kind of kilt suit with a blouse top rather than a jacket and a slightly pleared kilt skirt. He has a small bow and a pocket handkerchief. His older brother looks to be about 9 years old. He wears an early Norfolk suit with verticle vents, but no belt. Hec has a modestly sized Peter Pan collar and small bow. The jacket is worn like a cut-away jacket. His knee pants are still the long style covering the knees. Actual knee-length knee pants were just beginning to appear. Their older brother wears a standard sack suit jacket with very small, high set lapels. He alo wears it partially open. It is hard to see his collar, but he has a tie with a large Windsor knot. His suit is done with long pants. The studio was H. Davis in Cadiz, O. We think that means Ohio.

1890: Jamerson Family (Missouri)

Here we have a portrait of the Jamerson Family in 1890. They lived in Lincoln County, Missouri. They look to live in a larger town. I would think that they are a middle-class family. The clothibg is not elegant, but there is some attempt to dress stylishly. The family does seem to rasonably fixed, but I would not say affluent. The daughter in the background does seem to have a fancy outfit. Dhe seems much more smartly dressed than the others. The two boys in the foreground wear knee pants suits, one with a pin-on lace collar.

1891: Jordan Family (Maine)

Here we have a cabinet card portrait of the Jordan children ion July 6, 1891. There are four children, two boys and two girls: Beula, Mabel, Elwyn, and Wayne. They look about 4-15 years old. The girls identical long dresses. The boys wear standard sack suits. The younger boys wears a knee pants suit with black long stockings and low cut shoes. Low cut shoes were not common at the time. Most children and even adults wore high0top shoes. We can't see much of the suit his older brother is wearing, but it is like vry similar to that worn by his little brother. Although taken at the height of the Fauntleroy Craze, there is little hint of Fauntleroy styling except modest (by contemporary standards) bows. The cabinent card mount has stylish lettering. The studio was Curtis and Ross in Lewiston, Maine.

Early-1890s: Farm Family (Ohio)

Here we see a farm mother with her two boys dressed in identical plaid Fauntleroy blouses. The mount helps date the imahe to 1888-95. We would guess the portrait was taken in the early 1890s. These boys are wearing their blouses without floppy bows. The portrait was taken by an itinerate photographer operating out of Chilo, Ohio. I have never seen a photographer use a quilt for a backdrop before. A plain backdrop was more common because it was less distracting. I wonder if that might be the woman's quilt. The smooth corners and perforations on the cabinet card date it to about 1888-95. (I have not yet found examples after 1895, but they are possible. The clothes probably mean the 1890s part of that range. The boys are wearing Fauntleroy blouses. Notice the large ruffled collars and matching wrist cuff ruffles. They wear them with knee pants. This was standard boy's wear at the time. It was very common for boys to go barefoot in the 1890s and 1900s. We see many barefoot boys even in formal portraits.

1890s: Unidentified Family (Unknown state)

This cabinet card shows a well dressed family with three childrem, two boys and a gurl. The girl has a velvet-trimmed dress. One boy wears a Norfolk suit with an Eton collar. His brother wears a knee pants suit with very high lapels. The children wear black long stockings. One of the boys holds an early baseball bat. The portrait is undated, but the mother's dress suggests the mid-1890s. That was when baloon shoulder styling was popular. An interesting aspect of thid cabinet card was that it did not have the photographer's logo at the botton. Rather it said, "With the Season's Greetings". Christmas cards began to appear in the late-19th century, but we have noted very few caninet cards done as Christmas cards. Of course family photo cards became very popular in the 20th century.

1890s: Farm Family (Iowa)

This family had eight children. I think this and the fact theportrait was taken in a small town means that this was a farm family. The portrait we have seems to be the older children, two girls and a boy. They look about 9-13 years old. The girls wear identical collars, but with slightly different lace collars. We're not sure about the color of thedresses, but it was a dark color. The major difference is their hair. One has shrt hair and the other long hair. The boy is wearing a sailor outfit. The photogrpher was the Fenner Brothers in Creston, Iowa. The portrait is not dated, but the clothing styles and perforated mount suggests the 1890s to us.

1890s: Small Town Backyard (Unknown State)

Here we see an unidentified family enjoying their back yard. The view of the hime and use of the back yard provide cntext to The portrait is carefully composed. We see two women. Onemust be the mother. The other is perhaos the grand mothr. We see a todler boy wearing a Astrakhan, jacket, and what looks like a kilt-skirt, perhaps a kilt suit. His older broher wears a hat (kinda of a rounded crown boater), blouse, and knee pants. We are not sure what he is holding. Both boys wear dark long stockings. Their sister wears a jacket and dress. Her plain hat looking rather like a Stetson seems a little stange, rather unusual for a girl. Dad presuably took the photograph. The curled up family cat completes the portrait. The portrait is not dated, but we would guess was taken in the 1890s. The early-1900s is possible. It was probanly taken in a small town or leafy suburb. The jackets during the summer suggest the northeast or upper Mid-west.

1890s: Unidentified Family (North Dakota)

This cabinet card portrait shows a young Dakota family. There are four children, two boys an a girl, as well a a younger child we are not sure about. They look to be about 2-10 years of age. One boy wears a Fauntleroy suit with an unusual striped jacket. looking more like a blazer. His older brother wears a sailor suit. Both look as if mother might have made them. Their sister wears a white dress with out a defined waisband. She holds her treasured doll and has impressive ringlet curls. The baby if thefamily wears a blouse and pleated skirt which may have been seen as a kilt outfit. Wethink the child may be a boy, but we are unsure. Ellendale was a small town in southeastern North Dakota. We are not sure the family lived there. They may have been a farm family that come to town to have theor portrait taken. The photograph had to be taken in the 1890s. South Sakota only became a state in 1889. Earlier portraitswoukd have ben mrked Dakota Territiry. The studio was Ryam's.

1890s: Rural Family (Unknown state)

Here we have an image of the Powers family, a large, extended rural family. The portrait is undated, but we would guess about the 1890s. The portrait shows both the family and the family home. One curious aspect of the family is that one of the children looks to be a rather old boy wearing a dress. Another much younger boy wears kneepants. Another child who we think is a girl has ringlet curls. Hopefully HBC readers will have some thoughts on this portrait.

1890s: Urban Family (Unknown state)

A HBC reader has provided us a portrait from a family albumn as they are trying to figure out just who the family depicted are. HBC dates the image to the 1890s, probably the late 1890s--but that is only an estimate. The boys' clothing suggests that they are an urban family, perhaps a relatively recent immigrant family. One boy wears a sailor suit and the other what looks to be a double-breasted suit. The HBC reader would appreciate any insights as to the date of the image.


Figure 2.-- This looks to us like a large family reunion. It looks like everyone has gathered at the home of the family patriarch. The family is unidentified and there is no notation on the portrait. It is a fairly rare image as photography at the time was still mostly studio work. We can tell by the clothing that the portrait was taken in the 1890s. The women's baloon sleeves are a unique feature of 1890s dresses. It is a large format cabinet card (7-3/4 x 9-3/4 in) with the whole family in front of the subsantial, emaculately kept wood plank family home with a white picket fence. It looks to be a middle-class family in comfortable circumstances.

1890s: Family Reunion (Unknown state)

The group here looks to us like a large family reunion (figure 2). It looks like everyone has gathered at the home of the family patriarch. The family is unidentified and there is no notation on the portrait. It is a fairly rare image as photography at the time was still mostly studio work, although we begin to see more outdoor images like the one here. We can tell by the clothing that the portrait was taken in the 1890s. The women's baloon sleeves are a unique feature of 1890s dresses. It is a large format cabinet card (7-3/4 x 9-3/4 in) with the whole family in front of the subsantial, emaculately kept wood plank family home with a white picket fence. It looks to be a middle-class family in comfortable circumstances. There is no indication where the family lived, but the conifers in the front yard suggest the Pacific northwest to us. As so many family members are involved we have a wonderful roughly dated exposition as to how men, women, and children of all ages dressed. The boys were knee pants suits. One boy has an Eton collar an another wears a sailor suit. The girls wear dresses. One child wearing a white dress looks rather like a boy, but some girls at the time has short hair. All the children wear black long stockings.

1890s: Another Family Reunion (Unknown state)

Here we see a cabinet card of another family reunion. They are a substantial family, but there is no information on the card so we do not know the name of the family or where they lived. Everyone is lined up on the front porch. There is a sign reading 'Fairfield', but that probably means the nane of the home, not the name of the family. (Large homes at the time were sometimes named. Some still are in England.) The portrait is also not dated. We would guess based on the clothing and the mount it was taken in the 1890s, probably he late-1890s. The wommen wear both white and dark dresses. The men all wear vested suits. They seem under-represented for some reason. They are mostly wearing their headwear, but few of the women have their hats on and only one child--the boy wearing a wide-brimmed hat. The children are all lined up in front. They look to be about 3-12 years old. We can't tell much about the girls. They are all wearing white summer dresses, but the details do not come out in all that sea of bright white. The boys exhibit most of the different popular styles of the time. We see boys wearing Fauntleroy blouse and kilt skirt, broad-brimmed hat and sailor suit, a lace collar with a Fauntleroy suit, a Fauntleroy blouse and floppy bow with knee pants, and a summer knee pants suit with an Eton collar and a floppy bow. All of the children but one wears dark long stockings.

1890s: Affluent Family (Unknown state)

Unfortunalely we have no information about this unidentified American family. It is also undated, but we would guess was taken in the 1890s. The portrait has a white border which might help date it. We do not know who the children are, but surely they are a sister and two brothers. They all look to be wearing very frilly white smocks. Usually smocks were a more utilitarian garment. Perhaps the garments are better described as summer frocks. The older boy looks a bit old to still be wearing frocks. Many mothers at the time liked to address the children in identical outfits. They are dressed alike except that the older chilren wear black long stockings and the younger boy short white socks.

1890s: Baldwin Family (probably Ohio)

One of the most famous names in the American manufacture of pianos is Baldwin. The company was founded by Dwight Hamilton Baldwin, borm in Eire, Pennsylvania (1821). His parents were Mark Baldwin and Sophronia Waugh. The family were were devout Presbyterians and many became ministers and missionaries. The most famous was Dwight Baldwin (1798Ė1886) who played an important role in Hawaii. As a boy, Dwight wanted to be a minister. He attended Oberlin College but, since he was not particuly of robust health to become a curcuit-riding parson, he was advised to reconsider his calling. Because he loved music he studied music and began teaching music and choir in Kentucky churches. There he met and married Emerine Summers (1844). Much of Baldwin's business career and manufacturing operation was conducted in Ohio. We know nothing more about the family. But we have found a photogrph taken at the Baldwin Estate. We think that is the estte created by Dwight Baldwin with his piano fortune. We see two unidentified children enjoying the wooded outdoors on the estate, we think during the 1880s-90s. The cabinet card mount suggests the 1890s to us. They are wearing wide-brimmed has and white smocks or dresses. We are guessing that they are Baldwin grandchildren, but we have no biographical information at this time.

1890: Rural Family (Tennessee)

We note a portrait of the Beasley family in 1890. The portrait was taken in Tennesse, but we are unsure just where. It looks to be a farm fmily or at least a family in a rural area. Presumably the portrit was taken by an itinerate photographer as the photograph was taken outside the family home. There are four sons and and three daughters. One of the daughters may be an aint.The boys all wear suits, the younger boys wear kneepnts and are barefoot.

1891: Unidentified Family (Kansas)

We note a cabinet card which depicts a Victorian era American family. The wife is wearing an outfit with a blouse of very beautiful heavy dark material. Her hair done is diifferent than we have noted on most ladies in the 1890s. The sons are wearing dark kneepants suits. One boy's suit has a jacket with vertical pleats. The boys both have large white collars. One is an Eton collar the other is a ruffled collar. Such differences were often employed in age grading, but these boys are very close in age, Both have large bows. Dadís looking a tad harried. This photo was taken at Mater Art Studio, located in Chanute, Kansas. One source suggests the portrait was taken in 1891, but I believe that is only an estimate. This may be a farm family, but we are not sure.

1892: Unidentified Family (Missouri)

Large families were common in the 19th century, primarily because so many people lived on farms. There were small families for a variety of reasons, but mostly city families tended to have fewer children. Here we have a cabinet card portrait of what kooks like a middle-class city family in comfortable circumstances. Father wears a frock suit and wing collar. Mother has a stylish dress. The son wsars a single breted sack suit with high-set lapels and a pristine white Eton collar. He looks to be about 10-years old. They seem to be close-knit family, although no one is holding hands. We know the portrait was taken in 1892 as it was printed in the mount. The studio is Gibson in Kansas City, Missouri.

1893: Ozment Family (Alabama)

Dr. Thomas Jefferson Ozment was the family patriarch. Dr. Ozment was born March 12, 1838 in Anderson County, South Carolina. He died July 29, 1916, more than two decades after this portrait was taken, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was a medical doctor. Dr. Ozment married Elizabeth Murphy. They had two children. She died April 12, 1869. Dr. Ozment Than he married Mattie J. Bailey October 21, 1869, in Echola, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. They had 10 children. The portrait of the family here was taken in Tuscaloosa August 9, 1893. There are several children in the portrait. We do not know their identity. Most must be his children, but there may also be grandchildren as well.

1893: Unidentified Family (Unknown state)

Here we have an unidentified American family. The family is unidentified, but the elegant outfits suggest to us that is an affluent urban family. WE see the parents and five older children. One boys who looks to be about 13 years pld wears kneepants. Noys in the 1890s wore rather tight-cut, knee-length knee pants with black long stockings. The one thing we do know is the date of the portrait, July 10, 1893.

1890s: Unidentified Farm Family (South Carolina)

This photograph was taken in South Carolina, we think durng the 1890s. From the background we cazn tell it is a family farm. The family is about to set offon a buckboard trip, perhaps to church on Sunday. The black boy and his family probably worked for the white family. Until the turn-of-the 20th century and the Great Migration, most blacks lived in rural areas of the Southeast. Notice the coon hound. We are not sure what the boy is holding. These old photographs are fascinating historical documents. The streotype of the South in this period is a hateful supression of blacks. But this photograph does not exhibit hate. Photography at the time was not cheap. Yet the boy is posed in the foreground. This suggests a degree of affection that is often absent in discussions of race relations. I suspect that even people who had negative attitudes toward blacks in general might have those views moderated somewhat by individual relations.

1890s: Unidentified Family (South Dakota)

The family here is unidentified. All the blond children suggest they may be one of the Swedish families that settled in the Upper-Midwest and Dakotas. This portrait show cases mom and she certainly deserves it. There are nine children about as close in age as ius biologically posible. They look to be about a few months to 14 years of age and there is every reason to expect that there are more on the way. The curious thing about that this prtrait is that dad is in the back, almost obscured by the children. This is very rare in studio portraiture, even today. The children are all soberly dressed. Although taken during the Funtleroy era, there is no trace of Fauntleroy styling except for the floppy bows which are rather modest for the period. The boys all have close-cropped hair, presumably done my mother. The portrait is undated, but must have been taken in the 1890s. The card tells us that South Dakota was a state and this occurred in November 1889. The studio was C.K. Lien in Coopertown, North Dakota.

1895: Whitney Family (Missouri)

Here we see the Whitney family in 1895. The children are three sons and the older daughter (Ray, Tip, Lloyd and Grace). Ray and Tip both wear identical colored blouses with large Peter Pan collars. They also have identical buzz-cuts. I'm not sure what color it would have been. They look about 11 and 8 years old. Lloyd is younger, perhaps about 4 years old. He is not yet breached and still wears a dress--a light colored one. His curls have also not yet been cut and contras sith the short hair of his older brothers. Their older sisters wears an unusual black collar.

About 1895: Unknown City Family (Unknown location)

This cabinet card of an unidentified American was taken in the 1890s. CWe see a young teenage girl, a small boy in a Fauntleroy suit and their parents. The children look to be about 5-15 years old. There is no indication as to the studio and location. This was rather unusual in the 1890s. Mother is clearly very fashionable. Surely they are a city family. Everybody is dressed in their best, and everybody gazes a bit stiffly into the camera. The dresses with the balooning sleeves strongly suggest the portait was taken about 1895. This is a family portrait taken in a studio setting before an elaborate painted backdrop of a fine room interior. Father sits in a wooden chair in a heavyweight jacket and matching vest worn with trousers in a complementary shade. He has a knotted cravat and a split collar. He is a bit stout but appears muscular, and his hands appear strong. Time has taken much of his hair, but he still has a thick mustache. Mother stands behind in a dress in the 1890s style with a fitter bodice but large puffs at the shoulders that would morph into mutton sleeves later in the decade. The dress has a ruvved hem and is conservatively trimmed with appliqued braid. The daughter wears a dress of similar style, only with a bit of bright plaid in the puffs and bodice, a frothy ruffled collar - and a delicate beaded choker ornaments the neckline. The little boy has knee pants worn over dark stockings, a classic Fauntleroy cut-away jacket and one of the elaborately ruffled blouses popular in the 80s.

Mid-1890s: Unknown family (New York)

This cabinet card portrait has no information except the studio identifucation: Telfer studio in Cooperstown, New York. Cooperstown of course is fmous as the birthplce of baseball. While there is no date on the mount, we can relably date the portrait to bout 1895 because of the fashionnle huge ballon sleeve dresses the mother and daughter are wearing. We can't see much of the beared father's suit. The boy probably is the grandson of the older couple here. He looks to be about 5 years old. The wears a knee pants sack suit with a fancy Fauntleroy blouse. The jacket is unbuttoned to shoff the fancy front of the blouse. The white whicjker furtniture often means the early0-900s, but the fashionable dress style is an even stronger date indicator. This is useful in dating the scroll edging.

Mid-1890s: Unknown City Family (Pennsylvania)

The fashionable Philadelphia family in this cabinet portrait is unidentified, but provides a wonderful example as to how childrn were dressed in a fashionable, well-to-do family at the time. There is a boy and three girls. Gheu look to be about 7-15 yeras of age. The boy wears a fairly standard summer double-breasted knee pznts suit with Fautleroy trim. Note how hight up the sleeves the ruffled wrist cuffs extend. All three girls wear different dresses. They are rather complicated, fussy dresses, presumably their party dresses with capes, large collars, and front smocking. Especially notable are the large baloon sleeves, a destinctive characteritic of 1890s dresses. This, the mount style, and the whicker furniture help to date the portrait to the 1890s, in this case we think the mid-90s. Whicjer firniture was also used in studio sets, but after the tutn-of-the 20th century was usually white.

Mid-1990s: Unknown Family (Iowa)

Here we see an unidentified family of six. There are four kids. We are not sure if the other lady is an aunt or older child. They were from Red Oak, Iowa. They seem rather well dressed for a farm family. The children look about 5-14 years old. Both boys are dressed in similar knee pants suits with floppy bows, but without the big coolars that were populsr at the time. Of course we can't see what the boys were wearing under their jackets. The portrait is undated, but the clothing styles and mount style are clearly from the 1880s.

Mid-1890s: Stubbs Family (Unknown state)

This studio cabinet portrait shows the Stubbs family children. The enscription on the back reads, "Floyd, Myrtle, Beatrice & Bernice Stubbs Children of Wm [William] Stubbs." The four children, a boy and three girls, look to be about 6-14 years of age. Floyd wears a plain Norfolk knicker suit. Note the classic Eton collar and small bow. The girls all wear fancy dresses. Two of the children wear dark long stockings. They all have high-top shoes. Presumbly the other two do as well. The portrait is undated, but the pinking on the card suggest it was taken about 1888-95. The ballooning sleeves on the dresses suggest that about 1895 is a good estimate. Unlike most cabinet cards, the studio and location are not indicated.

Mid-1890s: Unknown Family (Missouri)

Here we have an undated cabinet card of an unknown family. We see mother and father and their four children who look to be about 518 years old. Two are obviously girls and a third is obviously a boy. Notice his large floppy bow. The youngerst child certainlu looks like a boy, but wears a long dress with some of the same material used for his sister's dress. While the portrait is undated, this one is gairly easy to date. The seratd edges and smooth corners of the mount mean it was taken about 1888-96, but the baloon slevees of the dresses. This was a popular style in the 1890s. The degree of balloning varied from year to year. Here we would guess the mid-90s. The studio was Chas. German in Hermann, Missouri.


Figure 3.--These unidentified brothers had their protrait taken in the 1890s. We are unsure about the social status of the family. We do know the photograph was taken in Rome, New York. We are not sure precisely when, but would guess the mid-1890s. The brothers wear different suits, but the choice of the same ruffled collars and bows make them look like they are dressed alike.

Mid-1890s: Unknown Family (New York)

These unidentified brothers had their protrait taken in the 1890s (figure 3). The boys look to be about 4-11 years old. We are unsure about the social status of the family. We do know the photograph was taken in Rome, New York. We are not sure precisely when, but would guess the mid-1890s. The brothers wear different suits, but the choice of the same ruffled collars and bows make them look like they are dressed alike. Note the difference in their jackets. Only the second boys wears an actual Fauntleroy jacket. Note how long the older boy's jacket is. While the jackets are different, all four boys wear the same knee pants and long stockings. Note the body language in the portraits. The two middle brothers seem especially close.

Mid-1890s: Eaton Family (California)

This cabinet portrait of four siblings was taken by the Lawson studio in Los Angeles, California. The girls have long long hair. The youngest has ringlet curls. Both wear pearl necklaces. A grouchy little boy wears a floppy boe, Fauntleroy blouse, and kilt-skirt. Note the cap he is holding. bthink it is a sailor cap. His older brother wears a Fauntleroy suit with a cut-away jacket, fancy Fauntleroy blouse, and small white floppy bow. The children are unidentified. This photograph came from the family collection of Edith Eaton (1853- ), Monmouth New Jersey. She may be the mother. Edith married Isaac Stuart Raymond (1849- ) from Union County, Ohio. H. Edith organized and served with many clubs working for women's suffrage. She was also a Sunday school teacher. Isaac Raymond was president of the First National Bank in Philo, Illinois. His family settled in what is now known as Raymond Township, named for Isaac's father. Edith and Isaac married on October 27, 1875 in Philo.

Mid-1890s: Ladies and Fauntleroy Boy (Oregon)

This cabinet card portrait shows two unidentified women, who we are guessing were sisters. Nitice how similar the dresses ere, alneit with different fabric patterns. The woman on the boy's left was probably his mother. We are guessing that he was about 5 years old. He has ringlet curls, no doubt lovingly dome by mother. He wears a classic Fauntleroy suit. Notice the ruffled collr and matching sleeve cuffs. The portait is undated, but the long baloon sleeves suggest the mid-1890s, we would guess about 1895-96. The baloon sleeves began earlier, but reached their peak about 1895-96. This is perhaps the most easily dated dress style. This is confirmed by the card pinking with smooth corners. The studio is Hayes in Portland Oregon.

1890s: The McIntyre Family (New York)

This cabinet card shows the children of John and Christina Mitchell McIntyre: Helen, Janet, John, Mary and James. They look to be about 1-13 years old. John wears a knWe are not entirely sure who is who, but suspect the older girls probanly left o right are Helen and Janet and the baby is Mary. The boys are John and James. Helen wears a fancy dress. This was common at the time. Janet wears a plain white dress. John wears a patterned knee pants suit. Loud patterns were commin in the 1890s. He has what looks like an Eton collar, although you can't tell if it has rounded or pointed tips because it is civered by a modest floppy bows. James wears a striped tunic suit with a fancy collar. The studio was Magovern & Baker in Saratoga, New York.

1897: George Nelson Bailey Family (Tennessee)

George Nelson Bailey lived in Houston County, Tennessee. The photograph here of his family was taken about 1897, presumably by a itenerate photographer. We see not only the family, but there home as well. The family left to right includes Dora Elizabeth, Authur Mumford, Maude (standing), George Nelson Bailey, Fred David, Claude Eldridge (standing), Bell Brigham (my Dad), Melinda Pearl (baby), Martha Elizabeth Waynick Bailey, Hicks Sizemore. Notice the younger boy wearing a cut-away jacket. That seems a rather dated style in 1897. We are guessing it is a hand-me-down and reflects the fact that rural people often did not have the latest fashions.

1898: Rural Family (Arkansas)

We see the Strange family in Sebastian County, Arkansas. The parents have six chikdren, all of who look younger than 10 years of age. We believe this is a farm family photographed by an itenerate photographer. It looks like the chairs have been brought out from the house and set in the sun for a good image. Father wears a dark suit and sports a glorious handle-bar mustache. Mother has a voluminous white blouse. The girls wear white dresses. Notice how the oldest girl has shoes and long black stockings. The boys have blouses with wide fancy collars. The boys all wear knee pants. Notice how almost all of the children are barefoot even for this formal portrait. Also notice all the white clothing. This was in part because white clothing is easier to wash than colored clothing and with six kids, laundry day must have been an undertaking. .

1898: Back Family (Indiana)

The Back family had their portrait taken in 1898. They were from Harrodsburg, Indiana, a small town south of Bloomington. This was a farming community, but we know nothing about this family. Anna Back and her husband Andrew Gordon Back had two sons, Lloyd (sitting in the front row) and Ralph (standing). Lloyd is about 11 years old; Ralph is about 15 years. The family looks to be prosperous. Here they are dressed up for a formal studio portrait. Lloyd wears an impeccable knee pants suit with long black stockings and hightop shoes. Notice his hair neatly parted in the center. Ralph, who also has a center part, wears an equally dressy single-breasted suit. He is also probably wearing knee pants and black stockings like his younger brother although we can't be sure because his lower body is hidden. The boys' father, Andrew Gordon Back, sits in a chair to the right.

1898: Dunning Family (Michigan)

Here we have another large farm family. It is the Dunning family who were photographed on the steps of the front porch of their frame farmhouse in Redford, Michigan. There look to be three generations. Two of the younger boys at front wear blouses and floppy bows. The other wears a sailor suit. All three are barefoot. They alsi have cropped hair. An older boy who looks to ne anout 12 wears a janyty cap with a shirt, knee pants and long stockings. One little girl looks to be wearing a white dress. The portrait is compleye with the family hound. One unusual aspect for what looks to be a well estanlished, staid family is what appears to be a bottle of booze.

1899: Black Family (North Carolina)

The Garnes family were a prosperous black family at the turn-of-the 20th century. At the time, most blcks still lived in the rural South. Maybe they were sharecroppers, but quite a number owned their land. This photo was taken near Henderson, North Carolina. It shows Gillis Garnes, his wife and their 17 children, aged 3 to 28. The photo was taken about 1899 while they went to the sunday worship at the Baptist Church where they belonged. They lived in Brodie, about 20 miles from Henderson. Gillis Garnes is about 50 years old. His wife is about 48 years old. The oldest child is a daughter who is 28 years and the youngest is a 3-year old daughter. Mother is holding the youngest daughter and father is holding the youngest boy. They were strong Baptists, 13 of the family were Church members, presumably the little ones had not yet joined. We are not sure about Garnes did not a living, but given the large family and where they lived, we would guess that he was a farmer, almost certainly a land owner given the way the family is dressed and the fact that the children are being educated. All of the family is well dressed. The girls wear white deresses anf the boys suits with large white collars, but unusually small boys. The boys were barefoot, but this was fairly common in the rural South st the time and should not be taken as an indicator of poverty. One of his sons is A.J. Garnes, the tall man in the last row at the right. He and a sister attended Shaw University.

Late-1890s: Daley Family (New York)

This is the children of William Nelson Potter Dailey of Schenectady, New York. Two of the children are named. Helen is at the ledt nd Vincent is at right. The othervtwo nmes or ilegibke. They look to be about 3-11 years old. He was the Brigidier General of the 2nd NY Brigade, U.B.B.A. (United Boys Brigade of America). This was a church related youth group founded in Scotland before the Boy Scouts. He was the minister for the Amsterdam Reform Church in Schenectady. The Boy's Brigade does noy appear to have been as popular in America as Britain. We see only a few examples in the photogrphic record. But we see here that it did exist. The children are all dressed in white. The girls wear white dresses, bith long a short sleeves. The boys also wears white knee pants outfits. The youngr boys wearas a blouse with a white bow. Vincent wears a white sailor blouse. The portrait is undated, but we would guess was taken in the late-1890s. Notice how the youngr by has a center hair part.






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Created: 3:56 AM 1/26/2013
Last updted: 1:56 PM 9/25/2018