Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

These adorable children are brother and sister. Their dresses coordinate. The boy, on the right, is younger than 5 years old, as that was the typical age boys went into short pants and no longer wore dresses. Modern conventions that boys not wear skirts or dresses are from the 20th century, although I don’t know what brought about that change.

Something else about these CdVs is very interesting. On the backs of both photos is a revenue stamp.

The revenue stamp was affixed by the photographer and then cancelled in some way, either with the photographer’s initials, an X, or hand stamp, and sometimes included the date. These stamps were cancelled only with a scribble, but we can date them as having been taken between 1864-1866. The stamps were part of the Federal Government’s fundraising efforts to pay for the Civil War. The 2 cent stamp was applied to photographs costing up to 25 cents.

8 thoughts on “Brother and sister

  1. Oh my but they look confused. I can hear the little boy whining when told he needed to put this on and the mother saying “Oh you look precious.” Poor little fella.


    1. Charles says:

      What you’re alleging is a con job to prevent men having choices. People with choices are superior—not inferior—to those without choices. This entire cult of laying restrictions on men is part of what kills men at an earlier age—they are denied outlets for expression. Also, there is not anything intrinsically female about skirts and fancy apparel. That’s an idea caused by equestrianism, Puritanism, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, religious fanaticism and psychiatry. In nature, it is the female who is usually the drearily configured faction.


  2. I noticed the positioning stands in these also. They are beautiful children..with some beautiful clothing..awesome. I love the sausage curls in her hair! Thanks for the peek at the Revenue Stamps..I have heard of them but I have never seen one:)


    1. mrsmarvel says:

      Excellent eye! Funny how once we know to look for them they are quite obvious. I’ve had these CdVs for at least a year and never noticed the stands until the photos the other day.


  3. IntenseGuy says:

    I guess saying “Cheese” didn’t put a smile on their faces…


  4. L. Margaret Krausse says:

    Actually, these are two little boys, not a boy and girl. The younger one with the Dairy Queen dipsy doodle hair do with ringlets is a little boy. The clues in the picture are the dipsy hairdo and his side part. Little girls’ hair is parted in the center. boys are side parted. The dipsy do is seen in photos of little boys and full grown men. Not sure why. :)


  5. Charles says:

    “I don’t know what brought about that change,” social forces brought it about. Young boys wearing dresses and skirts was the last phase of the very, very lengthy skirt age to which men also originally belonged. It was prolonged longest in young boys, finally, the pressures of the trends in social forces eliminated that also. Note Garrison Keillor, novelist, mentioning someone raving about the baby Jesus and sputtering, “they probably wrapped his legs separately.” This business of males allegedly having to have their legs separated into two separate tubes of fabric came from riding horseback, leading to the obvious (but painful) question—“can men be manly even though they don’t ride horseback any more?” Skirts and pants—activity differences—not “sex differences.” The amount of ignorance, misinformation and discrimination against men is far, far off the scale. A feminist writer in Male and Female Attire in Various Nations and Ages,” in 1894, noted this very fact over a century ago. Whereas it took several thousand years to get men out of skirts and into pants—it took only 4 years—1942-1945—to get women into pants, which was the World War 2 factory work. Social forces cause clothing selection—not gender—a few undergarments excepted.


  6. Interesting insight, Charles.

    How about the hats for children? Were there differences for boys and girls, I wonder?


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