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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Sun and Fun: 1923

Sun and Fun: 1923

Miami circa 1923. "Mrs. F.H. Lockwood and Miss Joy Welford of Asheville, Mrs. G.M. Blaker." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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I quite like it.

I think there's too much flesh on display lately, and I'm a card-carrying hedonistic liberal. Less is more, in my opinion.


You have to realize that women's dress had changed radically in a very short time when this photo was taken. The gal in the middle has bare shoulders, and bare legs, and very casual, loose hair. This relaxed display of skin would have been scandalous just a few years earlier. It's as great a change as going from 1923 to string bikinis today. But for Europeans public nudity at the beaches and even parks is commonplace, including entire families of three generations. So, we are still rather prudish compared to them.

I bow down to

Whoever invented Spandex.

Bare feet in the sand

I think Joy looks quite comfortable, with her bare feet and legs. Those bathing suits didn't bind anywhere, but still covered enough to be comfortable, even if you were over 120 pounds. My grandmother turned 15 that summer. I wonder if she had a bathing suit similar to these?

Little dog

is a Boston terrier, one of the most popular breeds in America at the time. However, it was called a Boston Bulldog then!

No beads?

Must have just arrived.


The girl in the center of this pic is quite attractive. Yet it's so odd to realize "she's dead by now" when looking at it.

"Joy" does not look very joyful

But she should be happy that at least she isn't wearing those black tights and shoes her friends have on at the beach. I am not a fan of the oh so skimpy bathing suits gals wear today but I would REALLY not want to wear what these gals had to put on either, although I could get fond of a such a cute little dog and a parasol sporting what looks like Micky Mouse ears.

If they only knew

These girls probably never dreamed that in just 88 short years, the beach attire would change from this ensemble of caps, shoes, stockings, shorts and a dress to the briefest of coverings equal to two bandages and a Post-it Note.

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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