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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Marjory - Miss Toronto 1923

Marjory - Miss Toronto 1923

The original photo is about 24 inches long. Only half the line up is in this scan. Grandma cut out one of the contestants on the far left (not pictured here) I'd LOVE to know what ticked her off so much! Grandma Marjory is the lady to the right of the center crease.

Second from the Left

The contestant on the left is my grandmother, Evelyn Corinne Lewis (later Evelyn Corinne Lewis Freer Pennebaker), Miss Washington 1922. The second from the left is Margaret Gorman who won this Inter-City Beauty Competition in 1921 after being Miss Washington that year. She was given the title of Miss America in 1922 at the age of seventeen.

Inter-City Beauties

What a blast to find this photo on the internet. I have the full print with all the contestants hanging on the wall in my office. The woman on the far left of this picture is my grandmother, Evelyn C. Lewis, Miss Washington, D.C. 1922. This image is much less than half of the entire picture. There were 59 contestants that year. This was before it was called the Miss America pageant -- these ladies were the Inter-City Beauties.

The first contest was the previous year, 1921. As I understand it, under the original rules, the winner was supposed to come back to defend her title. The winner in the first year was Margaret Gorman -- Miss Washington, D.C. But when she returned in 1922 she was no longer Miss Washington, as that title had by then been given to my grandmother.

So they created the title Miss America for Miss Gorman to avoid the awkwardness and confusion of having a contestant with no title, or two Miss Washingtons.

Contestants

I think Louisville could have done better.

1922 Miss America Pageant

This is the second-ever Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. The second woman from the left is Margaret Gorman, the very first Miss America. Her sash reads, "Miss America." The woman to her right is Evelyn Lewis, who was Miss Washington, DC 1922. In the early years of Miss America, the reigning titleholder got to come back and compete to retain the crown. Alas, Margaret did not win again. She went on to marry Victor Cahill, who died in 1957. Margaret Gorman Cahill lived her entire life in Washington, DC. She died on October 1, 1995.

Marjorie Smith

I think the photo is of the 1922 Miss America contestants in Atlantic City. Marjorie Smith Deyell (Grandma Marjory) was my aunt who lived on Saltspring Island in British Columbia.

Grandma Marjory

Shes hot.Miss Montreal too.

The Cop

What really gets me is the cop to our left of Miss Montreal who felt it necessary to wear his uniform hat while in his swimming gear (his legs are to the left of Miss Montreal's - you can tell they're a man's because he's wearing white shoes and no stockings). I love these little incongruities that didn't seem incongruous to people at the time.

Turkey or chicken?

The woman who is second from the far right looks like she's in costume as some kind of fowl. Turkey or chicken? You be the judge!

the other half

I for one would like to see the rest of the photo (call it part 2). And what is the pageant? Miss Atlantic City maybe?

 
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