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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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New Beach: 1940

New Beach: 1940

August 1940. Provincetown, Massachusetts. "Beach scene at New Beach, the most popular beach near Provincetown. Regular bus service makes this beach easily available; lack of bath houses causes a great deal of picturesque dressing and undressing in and behind parked cars." 35mm nitrate negative by Edwin Rosskam for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Beach attire

Sometime between the 20's and 1940, beach attire changed from being almost fully dressed to shorts and swimsuits that would pass on a modern beach. Wha' happened?

3 miles of beach

and this guy has to lie on top of ME !

Herring Cove

Known more commonly today as Herring Cove Beach, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore and a not-legally-recognized clothing-optional recreation area (New'd Beach?). One of the few places on the East Coast where a person can sometimes observe whales from shore. Other alternative names for the beach are included in the second entry below.

Massachusetts: A Guide to Its Places and People,
Federal Writers' Project, 1937.


New Beach was a location a generation ago of a colony of fisherman's shacks known as Hell Town. Its white shelving sand and its safe exposure on Cape Cod Bay make it now the finest bathing beach in town.

Provincetown Banner, July 16, 1953.

State Officials Coming For Dedication of New Bathhouse.

Dedication of the new bathhouse at New Beach is now scheduled for one o'clock, Monday afternoon, July 27, at which time Governor Herter, Senator Edward C. Stone and others are scheduled to speak. … In connection with the dedication Perry Strassburger, historian and antiquarian, has written to Governor Herter suggesting that the name "New Beach" be changed to "Provincetown Beach." He points out that older names were also used to designate the particular strip of shore. "Furdustrander" (wonder strands) was the name given 953 years ago in the Viking sagas while the same stretch was long and widely known as Herring Cove Beach when early Provincetown fishermen landed their catches there to have them hauled over the dunes and into town by horse and cart. The place was also called "Hell Town" at the time, but Mr. Strassburger doesn't mention this to the Governor. In the "Cape Cod Pilot" published in 1937 it was called "Outermost Beach" and in some Navy charts it is indicated as the "Measured Mile Beach." It has also been called the "Beach of Jewels" by artists because of the color of the pebbles found under the water at the beach.

Double take

I had to do a double-take - I just assumed the hand belonged to the lady sitting up, then realized this was impossible and then realized there were two arms. That'll teach me to take my time!

"Siamese Twin"

The man on the beach has been devoted to his siamese twin sister since they were born. He even paints her nails and buys her bling for her beautiful hands.

SHORPY OLD 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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