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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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Style Show: 1922

Style Show: 1922

June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Group winners at Tidal Basin bathing beach." On the right we have eternal Shorpy sweetheart Iola Swinnerton; the others are interchangeable nonentities who serve only to emphasize her many charms. In the background is the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Iola's bathing suit

I agree with Vintage TV. I think Iola's bathing suit is hideous! I prefer the one she wore the year before I think she's a doll, though. The girl second from the left is pretty cute, too, and the one far left looks considerably more attractive than in the other photo we have of her.

I love these photos of these girls! Seeing multiple photos of someone allows us to get to know them much more than seeing just one.

PS, just looked at another one, which has three of the same girls and is the same summer, thinking this would have been from the same time. Although they are wearing the same suits, from what I can see, they all have something different in their hair and/or on their feet. I wonder if they had these contests every month or so, or maybe if they just got the girls together a few days later for the rooftop photo.

The Female Knee

has obviously undergone rapid evolution under the selection pressure imposed by short skirts.


The girl with the open parasol is wearing some very interesting shoes. They look like modern pointe shoes (pointe shoes have changed very little since the 19th century, actually), but it looks like the soles may be a little harder. But then again, they also look brand new. Ballet shoes don't stay pristine for long. I bet she was a ballerina. They're even laced properly.

My inner ballerina picked up on the shoes, especially since they're different from the other girls'.

What is Iola wearing?

Looks like a shredded trash bag, or maybe she's going to the renaissance faire later.

The young lady with the open parasol is quite attractive.


Having recently visited DC, and having walked round the tidal basin would I be correct in thinking that this is taken roughly where the Jefferson Memorial now is? I'm basing that on the position and angle of the Bureau of Engraving and printing in the background.

Black Magic

The girl in the very middle appears to be holding a figure that looks like a voodoo doll, possibly representing her main competitor and she may have pins in her cobbler's apron with which to put a curse on whichever girl she deems threatening. This photo was taken on my father's 13th birthday which may well have been a Sunday, since it often coincided with Father's Day. And last but not least, those were some horribly hideous "get-ups" those gals were wearing, especially the bloomers, the printed outfit and all the leg attire. Perhaps there was no winner.

Follow-up: Just FYI there is a website called "Day of the Week" and if you type it into your search space, it will tell you the day any date fell on in the past. This swimsuit contest was a SATURDAY.

How it looks now

Not heard there this day on that occasion

"Iola, are you, like, happy you won?"
"Happy? It's, like, totally awesome!"
"I'm, like, so-o-o-o-o-o, like, totally thrilled for you!"
Guy sitting on left to his friend, whispering:
"Dude! I, like, see some bare skin!"
Friend: "Duuuuuude! Sick! Yeah, like you can almost see
like their whole shoulders! Oh, man!"
First guy: "Duuude!"

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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