HBC Activities

Figure 1.--This image was probably taken in the 1860s. The boy wears a suit with knicker pants. At the time pants with shortened legswere beginning to become popular for boys. Many portraits like this, unfortunately are undated, making it diffuclt to fully assess old images. For this reason we are attempting to develop guidelines for dating these images. We also are trying to create guidelines for estimating ages. Here body characteristics as well as the furniture can be helpful.

Here are a variety of activities which you can persue on HBC. The activities will help you analize historic images or spend a few diverting moments with these images. You might want to peruse some difficult images to see if you can offer some insights about them. Or perhaps you might want to take our HBC quiz or even dream up a humerous caption to an image you found on HBC. At this time there are only a few such diversions, but we hope to add more as HBC grows. Do let us know if you can think of any other interesting activities.

Academic Conferences

Academia in America and other countries is giveing increased attention to popular culture the everyday life of ordinary people. This involves work in history as well as related fields like sociology and political science. Fashion an clothing is of course one aspect of popular culure. HBC will maintain a list of interesting academic conferences for readers interested in participating.


HBC is visited by schools all ovr the world. Some of those schools havecontacted HBC requesting assistance. HBC readers who might be interested in assisting these schools may want oto look at these requests.

Difficult Images

Some specific images are very difficult to assess. Unlike many paintings, no background is available on the subject in the photographs. There are problems in determining the country, time period, social class, and gender of the children pictured. Here are some images that I have had difficulty assessing.

Humorous Captions

Some of our HBC readers have commented that while HBC is extremely informative that it is a little on the overly serious academic side. He has suggested that readers contribute humorous captions for some of their favorite images. HBC admits to a lack of humer and is more than willing to provide a forum for readers that are amused or a least bemused by some of the historical images.

Photo Interpretation

Photographic images are extremely valuable historical information. Drawings, paintings, and written documents can be mistken for a variety of reasons. Photograph are basically definitive statements. They show what boys actually wore rather than an artists intrpretation. There are some limitiations associated with photographs. Chilren could be dressed up in costumes rather than their actual clothing. The vast majority of photographs, however, show boys wearing their actual clothes. The greatest problem, however, is that large numbers of photographs are undated and the individuals not identified.


HBC has received numerous requests from readers on where to purchase classically styled boys clothes. If you know of any or have comments on their merchandise, please advise HBC. Many visitors to HBC have asked about clothing retailers. While we can not answer individual requests for information about where the classic clothing depicted in HBC can be purchased, HBC has decided to compile a list of clothing retailers that stand out among the mass of clothing retailers that normally emerge from a normal internet search. We have begun to collect details on such retailers. HBC can not endorse specific retailers, but will indicate what makes the following retailers special. In general these are companies that offer classic, traditionally styles clothes or accessories. There are thousands of sources for "T"-shirts, sweatsuits, and baggy trousers on the internet. The companies listed here are a bit more difficult to find as the specialize in classic, traditional styles. HBC readers are incouraged to report back on their experiences with these retailers.

Reciprocal Links

We are making reciprocal links with a number of other websites. This includes retailers, clothing and fashion sites as well as sites which deal with children and childrens issues.


Care to take one of the Boys Historical Clothing Web Site quizzes? Some are very difficult. If you can identify all the images, you are very good! If this is a new topic for you, your score should go up after you have read surfed the HBC pages.

Search HBC

Is there a specific question or topic you would like to search? If you are having trouble finding it, click here. HBC has some suggestions as to how to find it. In addition HBC has its own internal search engine. Or there are other fashion search engines that you might find useful.

Slide Show

A slide show of some of the images at this site. I have not been able to construct this, but it is a project for the future.

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