What young people wore (1891 photos)

42_image01The pictures used to illustrate this week’s article have been chosen by your columnist not only because the young men and women in them were among the newcomers to Wayne in the late 80’s, but also because they illustrate the kind of clothes worn at that period.

George H. Schultz, to whom these pictures belong, writes:
“That era was styled ‘Victorian’, after the then ruling Queen of England. The hoop skirt and bustle style period had given way to more sensible dressing. In daytime, women were always modestly dressed and wore skirts down to their ankles, and waists high up to the neck. Even when playing tennis and golf they wore long skirts and hats. No bare arms or legs were visible. Bathing suits for both men and women were generally of wool, covering most of the human form. Modesty was considered refinement then.”


The three charming young ladies who are seated in one of the large side yards in North Wayne are (left to right) Miss Helen Harbert and Miss Gertrude Schultz, who married the late Louis D. Peterson, and now resides on East Lancaster avenue, St. Davids.

The Misses Harbert, when they first came to Wayne, lived at 200 Walnut avenue with their parents, in a house almost opposite the Schultz home, and identical to it architecturally. This house is now occupied by the McGinley family.

Miss Helen Harbert, who is deceased, married George Brooke. Her sister, Miss Maude Harbert, who remained unmarried, is still living, although not in Wayne.

The two young men in the second picture are (left to right) William H. Schultz and George W. Schultz. This picture, like that of the three young women, was taken in 1891. Of masculine styles of that time, Mr. Schultz writes:
“Men wore stiff round-crown black derby hats, except for formal occasion, which required high silk hats. Soft hats and caps of the modern style were regarded as slouchy. Suits were rather tight fitting and the style was for white vests, ‘picadilly’ stiff collars, ascot ties and scarf pins – and creases in the pants and they were not turned up at the feet whether it was raining or not.”

Although “Sunday garb was not much different from that of week day”, according to Mr. Schultz, we rather think that this picture was taken on a Sunday. With their gold headed canes across their knees and their derby hats in their hands, these brothers might have been about to walk to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, of which they were members, or if the picture was taken in the afternoon, they might have been ready to start out on the round of “calling on friends,” the regular Sunday afternoon routine in Wayne of 60 years ago. “Those afternoons were quiet, restful ones”, Mr. Schultz says reminiscently – and like the more formal elegant clothes of that time now past, those days must indeed have had a charm all their own.

(To be continued)