Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday's Child: Pink or Blue?

Pictured above is little George Seibert when he was about three months old. Below that is one of his birth announcements and the envelope it came in addressed to a family member. George Marcellous Seibert was born 12 February 1916 to Herbert Seibert and his wife Mary Rowlee. Mary was the daughter of George Rowlee and Mary Carr. The family lived in various places including Ellicottville, NY, Washington, PA, Bridgeport, IL and Ft. Worth, TX.

Notice the pink ribbon? Believe it or not, pink was the color for boys back in the day! Yep, start here for information on when girls started wearing pink in an article by Smithsonian. There's also a nice photo gallery at this website. Wikipedia's article on the color pink mentions that pink was "first established as a female gender identifier in the 1940s" and points to a publication from June 1918 stating "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys and blue for the girls." Both articles make reference to author Jo B. Paoletti who wrote a book entitled  Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys from the Girls in America.

She also has a website about the subject with this interesting post on baby cards from 1915-1957.

Tragically, little George Seibert died of a snake bite at about the age of 5 and why I did this post for him as a "Wednesday's Child."

Another photo of George Seibert


  1. Wow, that it really interesting. I had no idea that boys used to wear pink.

  2. Dawn, I just re-blogged to this on . It was evidence like this -- mostly found tucked into baby books -- that convinced me that "pink for girls" is recent, and that boys used to wear pink, probably for all kinds of reasons in different parts of the US. Thanks for sharing!

  3. @ Heather - yes, interesting indeed. Another reminder that the past is a different place, huh?

    @ Jo - thanks for stopping by and re-blogging. I had heard mention of the idea that pink was used for boys at one time, but thought it was great to find historical proof!