This is believed to be a photo of my Grandfather, Roy Sherman Childers at age 2. His brother, Herman Lewis Childers says that in the early 1900's, they would dress little boys in dresses for pictures until they were around 3 years old. Roy was the son of Stephen Milford Childers and Effie Mae (Pettit) Childers. He was born April 10, 1918 in Diswood, Alexander County, Illinois and died January 08, 1988 in Edmond, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. He married Beulah Mae Webster on April 13, 1940 in Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri.
Valenchia Sundin Hershberger Any reason why they would do this?
Traci Delano I love these old photos ...I know they dressed boys in christening gowns and some frocks but I have never seen them adorn the boys hair with bows. I believe this is a girl.
Shelia Lyon I assure you, this is a boy and it is my Grandfather, who was born April 10, 1918. Two of his brothers, Herman and Bill are still living, and both stand firm on the fact that it is their brother, Roy. They say people dressed boys in girl attire back then, especially for pictures.
Jun 12, 2014 · Reply
Patricia Snodgrass Since there were only cloth diapers available during that period of time it makes sense to put both boys and girls in dresses. Not sure about the hair, tho. Maybe it was just the custom of the time. O.o
Robyn McIntyre Interesting. [external link]
Nancy Dyche I always wondered if it wasn't easier to change diapers. Also, I read somewhere that many children back them "potty trained" themselves. I guess if I was a year old and had poop and pee running down my legs that might be incentive enough to figure it out! :)
Susan Vendikos Gill I think the answer that a baby was a baby is the best one. when my son, kristoffer was a baby , and he is only 30 now, he had the most beautiful ringlets. I let them grow and they looked like shirley temple's. My father entered his photo into an ad agency who used him for an advertisement for a baby gate. they said oh what an adorable little girl!!! They paid a lot of money so for that day, he was a girl. LOL
Karen Wallace McGinnis And yes 2 reasons 1 a large portion of children didn't live past 5 so clothes were reused and it also comes from the old county they would disguise baby boys so invading army's wouldn't take them
Robin Tully Flannery My grandfather is in the middle ... He doesn't look very happy
Mary Jane Perez Cornielle What a great picture. At least your grandpa was being true to his emotions, no sir, no fake smile here.
Feb 20, 2015 on Facebook ·
Ginny Young Kellum You see a lot of the paintings on the Antiques Roadshow from the 1800's that you can't tell if it's a girl or a boy... the appraiser the other night said the only way you could tell is by the accessories they have - girls usually had cats, rabbits & boys more masculine accessories.
Linda Burtchell Boulette My late brother Wayne wore shoulder length blonde Curley hair until he was three then according to my older siblings my dad took him out one day and brought back another kid with short boy 's hair! All his sisters cried and begged Daddy to take this boy back and go get Wayne! Lol
Lisa Hickman The boys also wore dresses well before the Civil War as well. The infant mortality rate was so high and those satin dresses were so expensive to make (the material had to be shipped in from Europe via China) that the dresses became gender neutral until it was obvious the little boy would survive. Living in the Deep South and touring dozens of homes, I've seen pictures of these many times.
Elizabeth Mc Allister On obvious idea that strikes me is diapers/potty training. MUCH easier in a dress then in pants. Also, much easier to 'pass down' a gender neutral item of clothing.
Karen Floyd Originally pink was for boys (as it was considered the colour of strength) and blue was for girls. Amazing how things change.
Joy Lockett .... and the story goes that they soon realised that boys, even little boys, needed some restraint - hence trousers were born!!!! Imagine boys in the high school/college classrooms with skirts on - look out girls!!! (or under). T/hee.
Marie Ballard-Anders This is one of the strangest customs I have ever heard about. I do know it is true, however. A friend of ours has a photo of her Grandfather displayed. He was probably ten. He died a few years ago, past the age of ninety. Although he is wearing a little suit, there are quite a bit of ruffles on his shirt. The most interesting thing, is his hair. It is at his shoulders and is fixed in perfect long coils. 😊
Lyn Smith Sager Just imagine what OUR descendants are going to say about our clothes & customs 100-125 years from now. We will look just as strange to them as our ancestors look to us. Clothing & customs are constantly changing; sometimes they come back into style!
Christy Roberts They weren't dressed 'as girls', they were dressed as babies and toddlers in a nod to the asexuality of children. The first milestone was 'shortening' the dress so that the baby could crawl freely, the second was putting a boy in pants. It was nothing to do with cross dressing or gender dysphoria or anything like that. And I would say it came about with passing down clothing when clothing was harder to come by - why not put all te babies in the same clothes?
Dawn MacTaggart My father was born in 1901 and boys wore dresses and long curls until they were about 5. There was a picture that hung in my home until after my parents were both gone that showed Dad and his brother just younger than he in dresses and Dad had long black [external link] uncle had a "dutch bob". Dad was about 5 at the time the picture was taken.
Kazza Tuckenheimer Children are so gender assigned now- pink for girls, blue for boys. In the 1900's pink was a male colour. Lots of things change over time. Look at the old adage "spare the rod and spoil the child". Soon hitting children will be totally unacceptable, but when I was growing up, we all got a decent spanking. In my fathers time, they got a caning, his father was flogged. Things change.
Kym Beach When we went on a tour of William Shakespeare's birthplace, they said that all babies then were dressed as girls in the hopes that the evil spirits would pass by thinking they were girls. Male infants have always had a higher mortality rate, and at the time, they thought it was because of the spirits...
Carol Osborne Yep. Happened in multiple cultures...probably still does. Have known 2 friends in Mexico that were subjected (for lack of a better term) to this as children in the 1950s. In that culture, it was often done as a "thank you" for sparing a child or perhaps another family member. Looked upon with great reverence as well.
Melissa D. Matt I'm finding this comment thread fascinating! I've heard about the potty training reason but the carryover tradition about evil spirits is convincing. Look at the tradition (still being done in the early 20th century) of putting used children's shoes in the walls of houses when being built; this originates from ancient child sacrifice.
Sylvia Maltzman Depending on the culture, some people would try to hide the fact that they had a boy from the evil spirits (and the evil humans) who were more interested in stealing male children than female children. This is more common in societies with a very high infant mortality rate.
May 28, 2014 · Reply
Filipe Medeiros That's amazing. I always considered that kind of old world religion - I often forget that a lot of that carried over to the US.
Sylvia Maltzman You might be surprised to find how much superstition was mixed into daily life. When I was a Pagan, I learned about Celtic beliefs. Some Catholics in Ireland even today incorporate Celtic magical traditions into Catholic life. There's a blessing over the hearth fire which invokes Brigit to the front of the hearth and Mother Mary to the back of it. I guess that's to protect the house from burning down from sparks going either way. Not sure.