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Men's Portrait Gallery

The Cuba Five

The "Cuba Five"

The 1870's saw the rise of the sack suit to widespread popularity, on any street many fashionable young men could be seen in narrowly tailored sack suits.  But as this drawing shows, it was still common to see frock coats during the day. It also remained common for gentlemen to pair mismatched separates instead of a suit, particularly common was fawn or light brown trousers with black coats.

Most distinctive of this era is the slim cravat with very small bow tie as seen on the gentleman in the back left.  Also, notable is the hairstyle, cut very short and oiled flat. This was paired with a variety of different facial hairstyles as seen above.  Some of the most common were - the full moustache on the back right, the Van Dyke in the back middle. Many gentlemen still wore full beards or walrus moustaches, long drooping and oiled.

The gentlemen pictured above were Irish freedom fighters who were released from prison and exiled to the country of their choice by the British Goverment.  These five left Liverpool on the Cuba and arrived in New York to a hero's welcome from the Irish Community.

To recreate these looks: choose a high notch-collar vest or a low cut shawl collar vest.  A Frock Coat or Sack Coat are both good choices and reflect the diversity of the decade. Choose what you like best.

Senator Wilkinson Call of Florida

Senator Wilkinson Call

Senator Call of Florida shows a lovely frock coat suit with the small tied cravat that was so popular during the time. You can also distinguish the time period by his distinctive, oiled down hairstyle and large moustache. Senator Call's reelection in 1891 was the subject of some controversy - even prompting all but fifteen members of the State Legislature to flee to Georgia to avoid voting on his re-election (back then Senators were elected by the State Legislature, not by the electorate). He outlasted his detractors and was re-elected after 85 ballots over 7 weeks.

Rep. John Glover of Missouri

Rep. John Glover

Representative John Glover of Missouri shows the common style of pairing light colored pants with a fine frock coat and low cut vest. Note his short hair and slicked down style paired with the neatly trimmed full beard that was so popular. His small bow tie with pointed short, pointed ends was the height of fashion.

Uncommon Products, Extraordinary Service

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