Brownie Troop


A group of Brownie Girl Scouts, somewhere. The uniforms are consistent with the 1941-1956 style, which featured four to six buttons on the bodice, a belted waist and short sleeves. The dresses were made from cotton and required pressing before wearing. Notice their large bow ties! Two of my Brownies will be modeling these uniforms but we don’t have the ties. I do wonder what color they were. The dresses themselves were light brown. It is possible the ties were red, green or orange. Also of note but isn’t really visible, the pocket on the left breast featured an embroidered Brownie. You can also just see that the girl in center front has on a Brownie beanie. These hats were made of felt and fit over the skull with the Brownie emblem to the front.

Girls, girls, girls


Eight early Girl Scouts pause for lunch in front of a Model T Ford.

The Model T was available between 1908-1927 in relatively the same shape and fashion though the entire run. There were slight variations to the hood shape as the car was redesigned every few years, but the name Model T remained unchanged. Ford did not have a concept of model years or versions, so they are all called the Model T, whether the car is from the beginning or the end of the run. Interesting. In early years, you could order your car in green, blue, red or gray. By 1914 however, all cars were black because black paint was cheaper than the other colors. This model looks like it might be from the 1920s, which dovetails nicely with the Girl Scouts’ clothing.

Girl Scouts were founded in America in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. She was a pioneer for her time, in that she enjoyed not only domestic life, but also outdoor activities and believed that girls should have confidence and life skills, play sports and go camping. I found a photograph in the Girl Scout Collectors Guide, 2nd Edition, showing a girl wearing a virtually identical uniform to these girls. That photo was dated 1920. The blouse was white, the skirt probably khaki or dark blue, the tie was worn under the wide collar, and the hat was floppy. The girl second from the right most closely matches the girl I found in the book. I also found reference to the bloomer type shorts these girls were wearing, and they were to only be worn in private or at a camp out, suggesting these girls were on their way to or from an outing.

I’ll be regaling you with vintage photos and scans of vintage Girl Scout calendars in the coming month. My Brownie troop is hosting a fashion show of vintage uniforms covering 93 years of Girl Scout fashion, all leading up to Juliette Low’s birthday on October 31st. I hope you will check back and enjoy the wonderful images I have been procuring!

Bidding you, adieu

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A tip of the hat

For the final page of the wonderful Haberdasher’s album, we see the gentleman who first welcomed us to this fine repository of masculine imagery. He tips his hat as thought to say “farewell, dear traveler.” The other men on the page are once again overshadowed by the depth of character displayed by this fellow, but they cannot be overlooked. A solemn man, an intimidated youth and a slouching teen all bring this fine album to a close.

But, don’t you fear! I have been collecting some wonderful images and vintage calendars for an upcoming Girl Scout event and plan to share them here with you soon!

Click each image below to enlarge for greater detail.

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Top Hats

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Fabulous top hats!

As we arrive closer to the end of this wonderful little album of gem tintypes, we find two spectacular examples of gentlemen’s top hats. The top left image has the distinct sheen of silk on that hat. It is glossy and impressive. Note the fine tinting of his cheeks to give a more “lifelike” appearance to the image. The lower right image also sports a sheen, but more muted, making me wonder what this hat might have been made of. I know very little about hats, so hopefully some helpful visitor will comment to educate us!

We cannot ignore the delightful derby hat in the upper right, nor the wizened whiskers in the lower left. Each man has his version of fashionable facial hair as well. Click on each miniature below to enlarge for detailed viewing.

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Beards, mustaches and youth

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Some fine facial hair and one young face

This next page in the Haberdashers album shows us hats, mustaches, beards and bowties. We have again the gent with his high topped bowler, there in the lower left. He must have been a placeholder on many of these pages being as he is used so often, and that begs the question of just who created this album. If it really was a haberdasher, why would he show the same hat over and over? With the young faces such as the one at the lower right, it seems less likely to be a businessman’s book as well. Maybe it was owned by someone who knew lots of men, in which case that begs the next question of whether these were members of a club, such as a Lodge or the like.

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Hats and bowties

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Back to some fine hats and large bowties

A youngish fellow, a boater, a bowler and a repeat grace this page with delightful details! Note the wonderfully large bowties on the top two gentlemen. They are almost absurd in their size. The ties must be a good 2″ wide to achieve such a dominating bow. While I’m not well versed in the history of neck ties, I do recall seeing these wide bowties on men from the 1840s and ’50s. They obviously made a comeback in the 1870s. The lower left fellow has a skinny bowtie that is almost an after thought when compared with the larger ones. His high crowned bowler compliments his round face nicely. Finally, our repeat image is the doppleganger mentioned a few posts back.

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Two women and a fellow

Page number 6 of this little Haberdasher’s album has two images missing. I have no idea why, it came to me this way. And instead of all men, we buck the trend with a duo of the feminine persuasion in place of a fellow. I like the subtle smiles on their faces. Note that the woman on the left is not looking into the camera, but is instead looking into the midfield. The woman on the right isn’t exactly looking into the camera either, but her eyes are directed more toward the front. In addition, we have a young man in what I am guessing is a boater or other wide brimmed stiff hat, and this dude has some seriously big ears.

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