Book Review: “Children of the Past”

I have another book from my library that I would like to share with you. It is called “Children of the Past” and is a paperback book published by Dover and edited by Alison Mager. It has 165 black and white photographs of children from the 1860’s to the 1920’s. There are no descriptions of the children’s fashions and it’s more of a “look book” than anything else. The first time I looked at it, I was more intrigued with the children’s facial expressions than I was with their clothing. I had to look at it a second time and pay attention to the dress of their day. Some of the children are hard to guess if they are a girl or boy… I think you’ll see what I mean. It’s not an expensive book and worth the money (less than $5.00) to have this as a reference to some of the styles of past generations. Here are a few of my favorites:



I’m not sure if this is a little boy or girl, but I think this is my favorite picture in the whole book. Something about it just stole my heart as I studied it.


Adorable, huh?



Don’t you think these eyes have to be “ice blue?”


Awww… little girls and their dollys…



Your guess is as good as mine….




Don’t you think… brother and sister?




Someone does NOT look very happy to be in the picture…



Girl or boy? Boy?




Hope you enjoyed this preview of Children of the Past.

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Sharon in Spain says:

    This looks like a very interesting photographic history of children, what my goodness what on earth is going on there with the child with four legs??? A bit freaky, me thinks.
    It’s funny how the boys are so hard to tell apart from girls in their fancy outfits, but I do think they’re very cute looking. I love to see old fashioned photos like this!
    Hugs Sharon in Spain

    • HI Sharon,
      I”m glad I put that “four legged” girl in with my favorites… everyone certainly has their “take” on it. Not sure what’s going on there, but it sure is an eye catcher of a photo, isn’t it?
      It’s a really fun book to look at… not so much for a seamstress to get ideas from, but just a fun book to think of those sweet kiddo’s way back then.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Yes, Jeanne, I was going to mention the photo with four legs coming from one little girl. My husband photoshopped my daughter sitting in each of four chairs around our Thanksgiving table one year and it looked like we had identical quadruplets, but I don’t think they had Photoshop back then. I can’t figure this one out, can you?
    The poor little dears were all so serious back then. I’d imagine if a boy was made to wear a dress that would account for a lot of the sour expressions.

    • HI Cindy,
      No, I don’t think photo shop was around, so your guess is as good as anybody else’s. It sure is strange looking… I may have to investigate it and do a follow up on it… IF I find out anything.
      You’re right… probably the sad faces were from the clothes they had to wear. Isn’t is hard to tell the girls from the boys? Some of them I had NO idea… girl or boy…
      But still a fun book to look at.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Love this! I love history and antiques, so this is right up my alley. I know others have commented on the girl with four legs, but wow, can you imagine being a child with such a condition? My hear broke when I saw it. :o(

    • HI Carolyn,
      Lets just hope it was a photographer with a sense of humor… I’m going to have to see if I can find out more about the photographer and see if maybe he was into trick photography or something. Anyway, it’s a fun book to look at.
      Blessings, Jeanne

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