CHARLES EVAN JOHNSON JR.: ADORABLE AND INTERESTINGLY DRESSED TWO YEAR OLD

KID BY BOHM_0001

According to an inscription on the reverse of this photograph, the young boy in this image is named Charles Evan Johnson Jr.. At the time that this cabinet card was produced, Charles was two years old. The previous owner of this image stated that the young boy is wearing a Chinese style woolen dress and hat. I am not sure if that description is correct. The photographer of this photograph is Charles Bohm of Denver, Colorado. His studio was located at 284 Fifteenth Street. He is cited in a number of sources as the former employer of Frank Albert Rinehart (1861-1928) who became a famous American artist for his photography capturing Native American personalities and scenes. To view the work of Alfred Edward Rinehart, Frank’s brother, click on the category “Photographer: Rinehart”. Charles Bohm was an engraver, a jeweler and a real estate developer. He was born in Germany in 1846 and his family came to the United States to escape the democratic revolution of 1848. For many years the Bohm family lived in New Jersey where he became an apprentice in a design and engraving business. After a two year trip to Denver, he returned to New York where he designed copper plates, illustrated magazines, and organized the Palette Art Club. In 1872 he moved back to Denver and established a business offering design, engraving and photographic portraiture. He was active in Denver society and was a trustee for the water company and the library. Apparently, he loved speed and was involved in racing cars, horses and sleds. Research was not fruitful in learning about the subject of this photograph, Charles Evan Johnson Jr.. His name is too common to properly identify him in research materials.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Until about 1930 it was a poppular superstition and very common (as well in Europe as in China) to put little boys in dresses until the age of three to hide them among the girls to protect them from being harmed by evil spirits. – truth! This little boy in his grossly warm crochet dress, I think, is dressed in that tradition.

  2. Please note that this TOP section is quoted. – My commenTS are below in caps.

    “Babies in the 18th century (and before) were no longer placed in restrictive clothing. Instead, both boys and girls wore gowns. How long the gown was depended on how old the baby was. If the baby had not yet started to crawl, very long gowns were used with front openings. Once crawling began, the gown would stretch to just below the feet. Then, the gown would reach the top of the feet when the baby would start to walk. Both the crawling gowns and the walking gowns were closed in the back.

    Toddlers were dressed in shifts that fastened in the back, and they had the addition of accessories. The shifts were the undergarments. They still wore gowns over the top. Those little guys also wore pudding caps. The purpose of the pudding cap was to prevent the toddler’s brain from being turned to pudding from all the falls, bumps and bruises to the head that would inevitably happen. Toddlers were also given socks and shoes to wear. Girls were also given aprons to wear over their gowns.”

    P.S. – I ALSO THINK THAT CAPS WERE WORN BY THOSE OF ALL AGES LONG BEFORE THE 18TH CENTURY, BECAUSE BATHING WAS PERHAPS VIEWED AS “UNHEALTHY” AS IT WAS BELIEVED THAT CERTAIN ILLNESSES (LIKE RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES FOR INSTANCE) WERE MORE LIKELY AFTER EXPOSURE TO WATER.

    PER HEAD COVRINGS, THOSE THAT MIGHT HAVE LIMITED OR FRAGILE HAIR – BABIES, THE ELDERLY OR THE INFIRM, MIGHT BE PROTECTED OR COVERED UP TO AVOID EXPOSURE TO ELEMENTS OR EMBARASSMENT HAIR LOSS.

    ALSO, WOULDN’T IT BE EASIER TO CLEAN UP A BABIE’S FREQUENT ” MESSES” THAT OCCURRED THROUGHOUT THE DAY WHEN THE BABY OR TODDLER WAS GOWNED?

    I


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