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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Belle With a Ball: 1942

Belle With a Ball: 1942

August 1942. "Interlochen, Mich. National music camp where 300 or more young people study symphonic music for eight weeks each summer. Girl putting check on board to indicate she is in swimming." Photo by Arthur Siegel. View full size.

 

Many lost summers ago

As a kid, I did a couple of Summer sessions at the Eastman School in Rochester. A number of my fellows expressed great longing to attend the Interlochen program someday. I now know why.

At first glance,

it looked like a giant computer keyboard.

The checkboard

Miners used to use the same system when they went underground. Without wanting to be morbid, if you turn up missing your peers know where you last went.

Almost the Buddy System

By 1942 the Boy Scouts had taken the swim tag system (check in / check out) to the next level and required that at least two swimmers check in as a pair (or triple) with each person having the responsibility of knowing where his buddy was. On a regular basis, one of the waterfront staff would call for a buddy check to verify that the right number of swimmers were in the water. The disks in this picture would be called buddy tags each indicating the swimmer's name and swimming ability. The pair of tags would be hung on a single hook to indicate who was swimming with whom. As you left the water, you were responsible for making sure that you got your tag back to keep the count correct.

Great place

The parents took us camping up there in the late 50's, remember(?) the music camp would do concerts on some evenings. But, it was the not far away Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes that really tickled my imagination. Things were still pretty primitive back then, as the photo would suggest - not so much now I'll bet.

A great safety technique

A safety system still in use at Camp Robert Drake. BSA

 
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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