Belted

What it is:

Photo measuring approx. 3.75 x 5.25 inches, mounted into a cardboard folder which I have cropped out of this scan.

What I know about it:

Photographer is Morrison of Chicago, Illinois (Champlain Building / N.W. Cor. State & Madison Sts.).  Otherwise undated and unidentified.

Comments:

I was unfamiliar with this style of children’s outfit, the white tunic/jumper thing with the loose dark belt, until I started collecting photographs.  Then suddenly I kept seeing them everywhere in my collection.  (This one was a gift from my sister, whose then-aunt-in-law was, conveniently, an estate dealer.)  I think the look is odd but adorable.  I believe this photographer is William McKenzie Morrison, who was famous for taking photos of celebrities, particularly actors, in his studio in Chicago’s Haymarket Theatre.  But one source I found online said he moved to this location in 1899 and was only active in photography for a few more years before becoming too sidetracked by other business interests.  If that information is correct, then is it safe to assume this photo is from the early Edwardian era?

2 comments on “Belted”

  1. Wow, interesting. The one on the right really reminds me of young Titanic survivor Michel Navratil, with his little curly, peaked-in-the-middle hairdo (Michel is on the right here: http://www.shorpy.com/node/1367?size=_original ).

    The shape of their outfits also made me think of The Yellow Kid comic strip, but that’s pre-1900, and I agree is probably a bit too early. This photo makes that strip seem a little less weird, though; I could never figure out before what the hell the Yellow Kid was wearing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yellow_Kid

    Of course, now that I’ve thought to look up 1898, I can see that his outfit was standard (http://1oet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/cute-children-kisses-6.jpg ); I’m guessing the belt shows the evolution of infants’ dress, from the 1890s to the 1910s (or so?), but it doesn’t seem to have much purpose, other than adding visual interest.

    • Thanks for the links. I tried to do an internet search to get a better idea of how traditional they are, or what specific period they belong to, but I wasn’t even sure what to call them. And that photo of the Titanic survivors is adorable.


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