|People & Life Ways|
|Riches, Ranching & Railroads|
Dry goods merchants stocked fabric and some basic clothing items such as underwear, caps and shoes. Most children's clothing, however, was made at home or by a seamstress in her shop. Some clothing worn by children was very fancy. The boys wore full suits, with pants, shirt, jacket and a tie. Dresses for little girls could be just smaller versions of an adult dress, with ruffles, bows, and lots of decoration, especially in the 1870s and 1880s.
If you lived in a rural area or worked on a ranch, clothing styles were much simpler. All girls wore dresses, often made of cotton calico in a plain style with very little decoration. Boys wore dresses until they were 5 or 6 years old, then they began to wear pants. The pants for young boys were sometimes much shorter than trousers that older boys or men wore. One of the boys in this photo is wearing short pants.
Of course, pant length could
vary, depending on how many children there were in the family. Clothes
were passed down, and it wasn't unusual for a child to begin wearing clothing
that was too big, and wear it until it was too small. Then it was
passed on to the next child in the family. Overalls were common sight
on young boys, like this schoolboy in Tuscarora.
1: Library of Congress
2: Nevada State Museum
3: Northeast Nevada Museum
4: Northeast Nevada Museum