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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Splash: 1905

Splash: 1905

Coney Island, New York, circa 1905. "Surf bathing." Splashing around in the ocean -- the latest fad. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Strapping guy

Yes you are right about that wrist band on the muscle man vintagetv. In Dave's other photo it really looks like a watch band with two straps and buckles. Wonder if he lifted weights in the days before instructions and trainers and developed some carpal tunnel. Maybe that's what they used before velcro wraps.

Effective UV Protection Without Chemicals

I predict a big comeback for wool "beach stockings" next summer.

Revenge of the swimsuit clones

Contributing to the uniformity of the swim suits is that probably most are wearing rentals. See the two young men in the foreground with "BALMERS" across their chests. Balmer's Bathing Pavilion rented lockers and suits and provided showers as well as the rope guides. They also appear to have controlled at least a chunk of beach access.

This guy is ripped for 1905??

People had muscles in 1905. People worked in 1905. In fact I would suspect that a young man was more likely to be in good physical shape in 1905 because there were so many more manual labor jobs. We look at these old pictures and the scenes look so foreign to us that sometimes we forget these are real people just like us, with the same desires and the same problems.

On the Ropes

In many of these photographs there is a rope or a number of ropes going from the shore out into the water. I've never seen these in real life. What is their purpose?

[To hold onto. - Dave]


Picture for a day with a heat index over 105. More of the same, please.

Why We Love These Times

His dreams were of a paradise that is only because it has always been. The waves of the surf will breathe theirs lives as the Earth's heartbeat and in each rush of in or out is rebirth. He was dreaming nothing that has not been already dreamed by the sage as well as the student. The truth of the overlying immutable is in the experience of these things that hold us with that immutability. Reality is like the palms of the Creator holding each & everyone of us: at the back, by the head, in the guts & by the groin. Reality is not a thought at this level so we must comprehend the essence of the concentration of respiration to understand & then better experience the reality; this respiration, because of it very nature of repetitive concentration becomes the object that always has wear & tear. Not to be DIY or Home Depot crazy, but a little rehab & fix & re-fix is called for at every turn. He knew that the wave was the wear and that the wear was the fun. Go to the beach & go to Home Depot: fix or re-fix that broken thing. Attempt the repair for it is good & for everyone & everything, request the ease of the waves of the sea.

24 Hour Fitness

This guy is ripped for 1905!

And what's that on his wrist, looks like one of those wide 1960's watch bands.

[He's also seen here. - Dave]


I love the way the splash is caught right behind the two laughing girls.

If I Could Turn Back Time

I would do everything in my power to date the doll holding the sunhat looking at the camera.

I could be my own Grandpa!


Behind the two women in the foreground, is that a woman wearing a hat resembling a lamp shade?

Cookie cutter swimsuits

That old adage "You are each unique" (just like everybody else) really shows up here. How monotonous the beachwear and the hairstyles were. With all the similar girls holding the rope, it reminds me of those cut-out paperdolls which are all connected by the hands, which they show in many movies but which I have never seen or created in real life. Have fun kids, in 106 years we will all be dead.


Mostly Women. Hubba Hubba!


The clarity of this photo is amazing. I look at the faces and almost expect them to start speaking.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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