Oliver Twist Cap

Figure 1.--This boy was photographed by Cicero C. Simmons, an important Georgia photographer. Simmon's collection of 1,000 glass plate images of a small Georgia town have been restored and are available from Richard Stone. This photograph was probably taken about 1905. The boy wears a Oliver Twist cap. This is not a style we have very commonly noted at the time.

We do not yet have much information about these caps, in part because they were popular before family ohotography was common. We note these caps being worn in the mid-19th century. They appear most common in England during the 1820s-50s, but we see some examples as late as the turn of the 20th century. We are unsure about the proper name for these peaked caps. We chose this term because Oliver Twist is commonly depicted wearing them, as is David Coperfield. We assume that there was specific name by which these caps were known at the time. We would welcome any input from knowledgeable readers. These caps are often depicted as being worn with tassles. We are not sure about the origins of these caps, but they look similar to military caps at the time and the military was a common inspiration for boy's fashions. We also wonder if the English peaked school cap could have evolved from these Oliver Twist caps. It was not a major style in the 20th century, but we do notice a few boys wearing them. A good example is Pete Marris about 1925-30..


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Created: 2:54 AM 2/15/2006
Last updated: 1:54 AM 12/5/2009