Shared Photo: Cath and brother Jack

+9 votes

I love this image of Catherine Miller Best and her brother John Miller.  My father loved it too but grumbled that they stuffed him into a girl's dress. It was probably a hand-me-down from his sister.  I believe the photo was taken by their father, Charlie Miller, in 1917.

I wanted to share this family photo of Catherine Best with the community. Location: Owen Sound, Ontario Canada. Date: 1917
Click here for the image details page or here for the full-sized version (3864 x 5152).

WikiTree profile: Catherine Best
in Photos by Pat Miller G2G6 Pilot (234k points)
Cute children... Thank for sharing!

3 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer

Oh, this is such a heart-warming photo!  Thanks so much for sharing it, and for including some historical background, too.  Back in the 1890s and early 1900s, young children usually did wear dresses for quite a while.  There was even a word for the occasion when a boy first wore pants, called "breeching," which we don't hear much these days now that boys no longer wear dresses anymore.  

According to this 10 Oct 2009 article by Judy Mercer in The Herald Bulletin, cloth diapers were fairly new in the late 1880s, when the Victorian age transformed the idea of parenting and child-rearing--and parents apparently attempted to keep very young children 'sexless' and innocent as long as possible by keeping them dressed in dresses equally.

In History: Why Little Boys Wore Dresses

by Cynthia Larson G2G6 Pilot (182k points)
selected by Teresa Conant

Thanks for the historical perspective. My father would have been pleased to learn he wasn't alone.
+4 votes
This is an absolutely darling photo! Unusual to see folks smiling in a pic from that long ago, but you’ve gotta hand it to kids to always come through for you. Really, this photo is wonderful. You have real treasure here, Pat. Got any more?
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.8m points)

Maybe it's because their Dad took the photo.  They were relaxed.  In a studio photo with their grandmother, they weren't smiling.
+3 votes
I can certainly understand why your dad did not approve going in a dress.

But they are both very cute to look at

Thank you for sharing this wonderful photo
by Susan Laursen G2G Astronaut (3.1m points)

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