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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 • PROTECT HER FROM TUBERCULOSIS

Bathing Beauties 1928

Bathing Beauties 1928

Third International Pageant of Pulchritude and Ninth Annual Bathing Girl Revue, June 1928. Galveston, Texas. View full size.

 

Twofer!

A Miss Louisiana AND a Miss New Orleans? What the heck, double the chances of bring back a trophy, girls. And I find all these bathing beauties absolutely stunning.

Hometown Girl

Miss Tulsa! (9th from right in the leopard print suit) Here's more: Miss Helen Paris of Tulsa, pictured here, won 10th place in the competition, finishing right after Miss San Antonio. Although she wasn’t able to claim the title, Miss Tulsa did receive another honorable distinction. The first airmail route in Tulsa flew from Tulsa to Ponca City, and the name of the plane was the Miss Tulsa, named in honor of Helen Paris.

Can't we blend them a bit?

I spent some time getting rid of the lines and it was difficult but they're gone. Some of the girls went through some changes also. I love this photo and had fun just playing with it.

Condition of Photo

The Wall is the Galveston Seawall which was constructed following the 1900 storm. This is obviously a short rotation camera which causes the wall to appear to be curve. I am stating the obvious here, but the girls were actually lined up in a U formation with the cameras rotating around them. It is odd to me that the photo is subdivided. Early camera of this type sometimes used individual plates but they would have been wider for each plate. I would guess that the photo was cut up into individual segments and then reassembled here.

I like the Texas girls best: my hometown: Miss Houston (5th from left) and you can't beat the pulchritude being displayed by Miss San Anontio. (10th from left). Nice 'tude Miss Alamo City!

[The wall does appear to be curved. - Dave]

Cities, States and Countries.

Notice that some women represent cities ("Miss Biloxi" "Miss Tulsa" "Miss Chicago" etc), some represent States ("Miss Kentucky" "Miss Iowa" etc), while others represent whole countries. I guess Pageants of this nature were very informal in those days.

Fittingly, Miss California looks like the woman on the Sunmaid Raisins box.

MB

Miss Utah is stunning.

Miss Indiana is on two parts

Miss Indiana is on two parts of the photo that aren't spliced correctly which makes her look "big".

LOOK

These women are beautiful!!! Obviously men liked this kind of woman because there are more men than women watching from the crowds behind the posing women. I do feel that the backdrop for the picture could have bee something more attractive than a wall.

Indiana

Apparently Miss Indiana figured if the writing on her SASH was big enough, people wouldn't notice how big she is...

I think they're all amazing.

I think they're all amazing. If we had women like that in today's age as role models, the female population would be a hellva lot healthier!
Fantastic!!

Miss Minnesota is a man!

Miss Minnesota is a man!

1928

looks like pennsylvania may be a little cold-lol

wow

look at that, real women have actually entered beauty contests. Go figure.

Theyre gorgeous!

Call me pervert but these gals look great to me. More 'real' and sexy than todays beauty queens.

Perhaps its because the photo reflects a greater variety of looks and shapes than you'd get in modern beauty contests.
And yeah yeah this is just one step on the way of the evolution in notions of western aesthetic ideals... the gals and the photographer are not naive in what theyre doing but the effect charms my jaded eye.

My faves are: california, utah, little rock, ny state...i fancy them all. hurrah for beauty, variety, character, hair and life.
Charlie

INCREDIBLE!!!

WOW! You can only find 3 or 4 "nice" girls in the pictures, maybe the problem is the hair and the clothes....

Hahahaht the Miss from my country (Spain) is very funny, but Miss Mexico ... :(

 
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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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