Children from Kirwin, Kansas

Click here to view it larger.

What it is:

Carte de visite (CDV) measuring just under 2.5 x 4.25 inches.

What I know about it:

Photographer is C. S. Cobb of Kirwin, Kansas.  Otherwise undated and unidentified.


Here’s another one where the gender of the children is a little fuzzy, but I’m guessing they’re both boys this time.  Any thoughts on that?  It’s cute that they’re wearing matching outfits.  The beanpole on the right seems a little put off by this whole scenario, but the kid in the chair seems to be taking things in stride.  By the way, the design on the back of this CDV is unusually elaborate, so I’ve posted a scan of it here.  It’s especially impressive given how small the whole thing is.  UPDATE:  I just remembered that a comment on a previous post said you could determine a child’s gender in old CDVs by the way the hair is parted, and that the center part means the one on the right is a girl.  That completely throws my assumptions off, and it still doesn’t tell us about the one on the left.  Who knows, maybe I’m the only one who finds these kids confusing.

7 comments on “Children from Kirwin, Kansas”

  1. I think you are probably right about the two being boys but it is a real tough call for me. The taller one could easily be a girl and so could the little one. Asexual pictures, the latest trend back then. They both seem a bit freaked too.

    • Yeah, the whole androgynous child thing seems like such a strange convention to us now, but it’s fascinating. I have a few androgynous adult pictures I’ll have to post at some point, just to add to the confusion. 🙂

  2. I love photos like this, to show contemporaries who insist on smiles (read: grandmas) that children’s personalities are much better candid. This photo makes me smile, despite resistance from the boys (I have to agree on the gender assessment).

  3. Looking at how the dress on the older one is pulled back, it looks like it was secured to a pole/stand behind the child. Secure her in place. Could be the hair was tied back as well. That sure would explain the expression.

    • Yes, I think that’s a good guess. You can just barely see the base of a posing stand behind the child, and that would help explain the strange way the clothing fits the child.

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