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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 • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

Down Under: 1910

Down Under: 1910

By 1910, men's bathing costumes were sleeveless and cut off at mid-thigh. However, as required by some bylaws, many male bathers, such as this group, wore trunks over their one-piece suits.

-- Encyclopedia of New Zealand

New Zealand circa 1910. "Unidentified bathers, probably at Christchurch." Dry plate glass negative by Steffano Francis Webb. View full size.

 

Gentlemen

check your weapons at the door, please. We run a respectable establishment here.

I see

There a couple of cool cats right here. Nothing like a little eye candy to go with my morning coffee.

Please --

Bring back the freakin' cats.

Overwear

As Esposito decrees in "Bananas," "The people must change their underwear every day, and to make sure, they must wear it on the outside." (Or words to that effect -- I don't have the script handy). For better or worse, this is definitely a Kiwi "look," and prescient, too.

One hundred years later

I still see men jogging around town wearing shorts over their sweatpants so I guess everything old is new again. Does the expression "plum smugglers" ring a bell?

Talk about unflattering

They mostly look like a combination of diapers pulled over striped rags, but I forgive the boys if I can just meet the Grecian god third from the left and lose myself in those beautiful eyes.

 
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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