Figure 26.--This cabinet photo of child standing beside a bird house seems to be a girl, although we are not positive. It is interesting because the outfit is similar to a kilt suit tha was worn by boys. The portrait was taken at the Bliss Bros. studio, in Buffalo, New York." We are unsure about the date, probably the 1880s.
This cabinet photo of child standing beside a bird house seems to be a girl, although we are not positive. It is interesting because of several aspects of the child's outfit. Note the small cutaway jacket. This is similar to the jacket worn with many Fauntleroy suits. We have noted girls with similar jackets, but normally worn over dresses rather than a blouse. One curious aspect here is that the blouse is not bloused at the waist, but just hangs down. This gives a rather untidy appearance which was not common in these old portraits.
We have not normally noticed this before. The outfit is similar to a kilt suit that was worn by boys. The skirt, however, has not kilt styling. Rather it is just a plain skirt. We have noticed boys wearing skirts as well as dresses, but have not noted a lot of such images in the photographic archive.
Note the ringlets. American boys were also done up in ringlets during the 19th century. Often when there were girls in the family, their hair was done differently, but many girls also wore ringlets. Thus the hair here is not a good indicator. I am not sure about the styling of the ringlets here. This sometimes is a clue.
The only prop to give us clues is the bird house. We have no isea why this prop was taken. We suspect, however, that props associated with birds suggests that the child is a girl. A reader writes, "I thought this child was a boy. The bird house could be one the child made. When I was about that age my dad and I made several bird houses that looks just like that one. They are very simple to make." Possibly, but one fact we never know about these images is to what extent the props actutally belong to the individuals oe were studio props.
The portrait was taken at the Bliss Bros. studio, in Buffalo, New York." We are unsure about the date, probably the 1880s.