Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Free Image Tuesday...What Are You Looking At?...

He is so very mad!!!  If Mama had curled my hair like that I would have been mad too:)

 "What Are You Looking At?"
Carte De Vista photograph from the late 1800's

Sometimes you come across antique photos that make it hard to tell the gender of the subject.  This photo is one of them.  But there are several clues to help sex an unlabeled photo.  

During the 1800s boys typically wore dresses until 5 or so. I am sure in the younger years potty training was a big part of it. It is harder to sex a photo of an infant because both boys and girls usually wore elaborate christening gowns. And they have very little hair:)

The clues in this photo that identify a male gender are many. The fact that his hair, although elaborately curled, is parted on the side is a telltale sign. Girl's hair of this era was almost (almost) always parted in the middle. The knickers under the dress are straight with no lace or frills (not always the case). The boots and wide leather belt are typical for a male gender. Also the bold and big plaid cloth of his clothing was popular for boys during this time. Sometimes it's very hard to determine a gender, but the hair rule is almost (almost) always correct. 

Here are other Free Image Tuesday images of boys in dresses!!    They are yours to use in your art:)

I love how the baby is so alert and staring straight at the camera. This also has a nice example of a "hidden mother". She is under that blanket to the left of the baby and her arm is outstretched holding on to the back of the baby. In earlier photos that I have (mainly tintypes) the baby will be sitting on the mother's lap and the mom is completely covered from head to toe in a blanket. It can look a little creepy. It is definitely a person shaped lump under there:)

He is my favorite. His dress and face are filthy, but he is happy and playing. I just want to scoop him up in my arms and hug on him a little while.

You Can Put Him in a Dress, But He Doesn't Have to Like it!
Little Man
Little Man CDV.  This CDV (carte de vista) sized photo is a very early one.  Based on the hair style and clothing of our fella I would date this photo to the early 1860s.    A lovely studio chair adds to the beauty of this one.
Sweet little boy with a wonderful head of hair:)
I believe these two to be brother and sister fraternal twins.  With the boy on the left and the girl on the right.

These are two digital collages I created with my personal images.  I am creating a tutorial to show you how:)  Love, Jamie


Robin said...

Thanks for the info on determining the gender on some of these photos! I would have never guessed this was a boy.....I really don't understand why they would dress him like this anyway? Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!


sugar Creek said...

Oh that does help alot, thanks for the info! I would be mad too if I were a boy and had to look like a girl!!

Anonymous said...


I am linking this site to the Gender Neutral Parenting facebook page! I love it! Thanks for all the great old photos :)

Anonymous said...


I am linking this page to the Gender neutral Parenting facebook page! Love all the great old photos :)

Carole said...

Great photos. :-)

For those curious, during Victorian times (and well before) babies and toddlers wore dresses (regardless of gender), partly because there was little distinction in children's clothing.

Around 3-6 years of age (depending on early to mid-1800s), boys were dressed in fancy suits, and styles influenced by the Queen. It wasn't really until the early 1900s that boys started wearing more gender specific clothing at an earlier age.

That was just the way things were then.

Jamie said...

Thank you so much for your Sweet comments!!!!! And this is perfect for gender neutral parenting!! Awesome!!!


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