Title: Family shopping, High Street, Gateshead, c1900
Reference Number: GL001492
Item Description: Gateshead High Street had shops to cater for everyone, from the very poor to the extremely wealthy. Small shops sold second hand goods at low cost prices whilst larger stores like Snowball’s provided more luxurious items for well-to-do families.
This family were photographed shopping on the High Street in 1900. Their appearance would suggest that they were quite wealthy.
Clothes for poorer people were often passed down within the family or bought from second hand shops. They were usually made from coarsely woven wool or cotton cloth and they would be mended and patched to make them last a long time. Many poorer children went without shoes even in the winter.
Wealthy women wore tightly laced corsets like the lady in this photograph. This gave them the narrow waists which were thought to be attractive. Children in wealthy families wore very formal clothes. Girls wore dresses which were as fancy as the grown ups but slightly shorter. Boys were dressed in sailor suits or velvet suits with lace collars and cuffs.
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