Sunday, September 13, 2009

"For Boy or Girl"

After writing that post about telling boys from girls in 19th-century photographs, I came across this ad in a 1904 issue of The Youth's Companion.

The Siegel Cooper Co. of New York sold unisex children's clothing under the headline, "FOR BOY OR GIRL." The photographs give few clues as to the gender of the models.

The ad reads,
These two Special numbers are exceptional values in Children's wear. On for "every day," neat and serviceable. The other for "best," but also serviceable. Order one of each and see the value for yourself. Your money refunded if you are not perfectly satisfied.
Larger pics below the fold.

The "every day" outfit was available in oxblood, blue, or pink. The ad copy gives no indication that any particular color was more acceptable for a boy or a girl:

No. 977-59¢
Child's Norfolk Dress made of good quality Chambray. It is pleated front and back and cut with large bishop sleeves. Belt of same material, as illustrated.
This dress will give splendid service and will launder beautifully. Just the style of dress that always presents a neat appearance. Suitable for either boy or girl from two to four years. Colors, oxblood, blue, or pink.
The "best" outfit:
No. 993-95¢
Child's Dress made of fine White Lawn, Russian style, pleated back and full front. The collar, cuffs and belt are trimmed with a new, fancy silk, washable braid, making a very handsome and striking effect. A dress beautiful and artistic enough to be worn for any occasion. Suitable for boy or girl from two to four years.
There's also a note about the company's catalogue, which makes a distinction between "Children's wear" and "Boys' clothing," but not girls' clothing.

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