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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 • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Wave of the Future: 1948

Wave of the Future: 1948

October 1948. "Bathing suit models in swimming pool." Bikini much? Not atoll. Anyone seen my gingham handkerchief? Photo by Toni Frissell. View full size.

 

No Sting Rays

I don't think there's a sting ray in the photo. (Where's the tail?) That's just an illusion created by light reflecting off waves. You can see similar illusions at the bottom middle of the photo, and also bottom left.

Sting ray?

This doesn't really look like a swimming pool. There's junk on the bottom, and what looks like a sting ray in the upper right of the image.

Back stroke versus breast stroke

This picture is very reminiscent of the dozens of Esther Williams movies which were basically created from the elaborate synchronized swimming routines of the beautiful Esther and other gorgeous and talented swimmers and handsome leading men. She did in fact design an entire line of swimsuits in the style of her hayday and she also had a line of E.W. swimming pools. I believe her swimsuits may still be available today. By the way, she will be 92 yrs. old on August 8th

They've come a long way baby

A scant 30 years earlier ( 1918 or so) this pic would have shown the gals floating around in heavy black woolen "swim suits", black socks, and bonnets.

Also agree with Blokedownunder:
Nice to see the ladies sans ugly tattoos and multiple body piercings.

Coming soon to an Olympic venue near you

And thus humbly began the aspiring sport of asynchronous swimming.

Could it be?

Is that a manta ray in the pool on the right side of the picture?

Would that explain why the girl on the left appears to be looking through some sort of transparent window.

Good times

The war over, good times ahead, two pretty women enjoy the day. I wish I was there!

Well may you scoff

After that effort the other day, this is a pleasure to look at. Personally this does it for me. The 40’s and 50’s swimsuits with ruching are devine. NOTE: not one of those abominable tattoos to be seen here.

Scant protection from radiation

The Bikini, as inferred in the caption, was named after the nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll and was said to have created a chain reaction in the fashion world. A competing design, "L'Atom" never caught on.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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