U.S. Long Stockings: Regional Trends

Figure 1.--Here all three chidren wear long stockings in this cabinet card portrait, the girl and boys of different ages. The children are unidentified, but look to be about 3-13 years old. The younger boy wears a kilt suit. The striped and white stockings suggest the 1870s. The portrait was taken in Maine near Canada. We also see children in southern states wearing long stockings. The studio was Frank C. Weston in Bangor, Maine.

We note american children wearing long stockings throughout the country. This includes the Nort, South, and west. We find very few exceptions in the photographic record. This of course means how children were dressed up. When not dressed up, many of the children would have gone barfoot, at least in warm weather. They were not, however, unlike Europe, worn other kinds of hosiery. There were some regional variations. HBC does not yet have the information to confirm it, but believes long stockings were more common in the colder northern states than the warmer southern states. That is not to say other types of hosiery were worn. Only that children in the South had more warm nonths in which they could go barefoot. Long stockings were not, only worn for warmth. Thus they were also worn in the South. And we almost always see children wearing long stockings in studio portaits during the 19th century with very few exceptions. For some reason we see some portraits with barefoot children at the turn-of-the 20th century. mostly in the early-20th century. . We have no idea why this suddenly occurred. Many of the examples were from the south and tin-type portraits. tin-types were commonly done at temprary studios such at state fairs or low budget studios. Bit with this exceptgion we almost alwayz see children kin studio portaits wearing lobg stockings.


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Created: 12:53 AM 12/28/2014
Last updated: 12:53 AM 12/28/2014