Today we have a sweet little baby in a bonnet. While we retrospectively think these bonnets are cute and were for show, they served a very practical purpose of keeping the baby’s head warm. Even today, there are caps, knitted beanies and all sorts of cute adornments for an infant’s head. The infant mortality rate even in the early 20th century when this photo was made was still quite high, and the belief that cold weather could make a person sick was still fairly common. It makes perfect sense to turn the utility & safety of a baby bonnet into a wearable piece of art with fine stitching, tiny ribbon bows and various other vintage sewing techniques. Family heirlooms survive to reveal the care and expert needlework that went into making these fine garments.
Baby was photographed by Tilton of Exeter, NH. To see all the family’s photographs by Tilton, click on the category Tilton or W. P. Tilton Jr.