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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Shallow End: 1923

Shallow End: 1923

1923. Swimmers at the Wardman Park Hotel pool in Washington, D.C. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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Florence Skedding

That seems to be Florence Skedding sitting second from the left. Perhaps this was a swim team or event given Florence's swimming skills.

Notice the "S"

I think the differential on the letter "S" has to do with it being the only curved letter in "SHALLOW END." The Sign painter likely was new to the game or not very talented. A proper advert. sign wouldn't have made this mistake.

Again, imagine the painter looking at his work from the other end after he'd painted it. "Do I need to redo the S?" he thinks. "Nah, the swimmers won't care and who else will ever see it...."

Shallow End

Shallow end means these are the dumb girls. Over at the deep end they're discussing the space-time continuum.


Note how most of them have very long hair. This being 1923, it shows what a shocking thing it was to bob their hair, as in "Bernice Bobs Her Hair".

Re: Re; Odd Thought

I wouldn't say almost certainly dead. I figure the young ladies are in the 13 to 16 range, which would indicate roughly 1907 to 1910 birthdays. If still living, they'd all be pushing hard on 100, but that doesn't necessarily mean they’d have died 20 years ago.

Also, I read that all but the second from the left in the rear group are males. The second from the left — wearing a bathing cap — would surely be female. The second from the right is balding. And I would guess that group to be the lifeguards, perhaps?

Re: Odd Thought

It is odd to think about it -- every girl in this picture is almost certainly dead now. Maybe the longest lived one or two died a decade ago or so. Kind of sad... such young, pretty girls so full of life.

But who do you suppose the four are in the upper right? The second one from the left and maybe the one on the far right might be male or female. Can't tell.

The "Inter-Net"?

Nor could any of them have imagined in their wildest dreams that one day their picture would be shown to the whole world.

Odd thought

It's interesting to think that everyone in this picture has probably lived their lives and died.

Notice the "S"

Do you suppose that "S" in Shallow painted in on the wall, or was added on in the photo?

Agreed. Creepy.

Agreed. Creepy.

Regan MacNeil's Ancestor?

The one on the far right appears to be an odd combination of Stevie Nicks and a posessed Linda Blair. She's looking at all the other girls in a rather ghoulish manner.

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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