Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pamphlet - The Royal Navy of England & the Story of the Sailor Suit
  • The Royal Navy of England & the Story of the Sailor Suit
    Scott, Sep. E., born 1879 - died 1965
  • Enlarge image

The Royal Navy of England & the Story of the Sailor Suit

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Scott, Sep. E., born 1879 - died 1965 (illustrator)
    Wm Rowe & Co (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The sailor suit as an item of children's dress was based on uniform worn by ratings in the British Navy: the first sailor suit for a child is generally acknowledged to be that made for Queen Victoria's eldest son, Prince Albert Edward, to wear on a Royal visit to Ireland in 1846. The fashion took a while to become established, but turned into a classic of childrenswear, and was still in use (although tending to be for best) in the 1920s. It survives as a choice for pageboys at weddings, and there is an example in the collections at the V&A Museum of Childhood dating from the 1980s.

Other names included the Jack Tar suit and the Man-o'-war suit, the latter claimed by its manufacturers, Redfern of Cowes, to be "accurately correct to the most minute detail, and...suitable for either sex" (Myra's Journal, 01/08/1883). As can be seen in this pamphlet, Rowe, one of the leading manufacturers of sailor suits, also offered correct accessories, including lanyard and Bo'swain's pipe (whistle), the "regulation Senet Hat", and the sleeve badges of various naval ranks (although most sailor suits show the anchor and cable of the Leading Seaman).

Physical description

Trade pamphlet issued by Wm Rowe & Co Ltd, of Gosport, London & Cowes. The 40-page pamphlet is printed in blue-black on white semi-glossy paper, with a ribbon binding and a soft cover of blue-grey paper. The cover is printed with lettering and decoration in old gold, with an illustration of a high-decked sea-borne sailing vessel on the front. The pamphlet has a tipped-in colour frontispiece, 'Seafaring Men' by Septimus E Scott, showing a boy in a sailor suit seated beside a uniformed sailor, and combines the story of the rise of naval uniform in England with half-tone illustrations (also by Septimus Scott) of children's garments (mostly with a nautical theme) manufactured by Rowe's.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1900 (made)


Scott, Sep. E., born 1879 - died 1965 (illustrator)
Wm Rowe & Co (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper

Marks and inscriptions

Wm Rowe & Co Ltd


Height: 25.8 cm, Width: 18.2 cm closed

Descriptive line

Trade pamphlet on children's garments issued by Wm Rowe of Gosport, Cowes & London; England, ca. 1900

Production Note

Published by Rowe's to advertise their products






Advertising; Children's clothes; Children & Childhood; Europeana Fashion Project


Museum of Childhood

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.