SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Future Flappers: 1923

Future Flappers: 1923

Washington, D.C. "Girls at Potomac Tidal Basin bathing beach pavilion, 5/28/23." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Fun at Tidal Basin!

Those pictures of my grandparents' generation having great times are among my absolute favorites, here! It makes me sad to think that it would soon be replaced with a pool. The swimming was probably as nice, but the other activities appear to have come to an end, like the beauty contests, pie eating contests, etc..


Being a boy, the only access to an all-girls gathering is through word of mouth (highly subjective) or glimpses via photos such as this one which grant admission to a special place. I look hard at the faces (okay, and bodies) of each and every one of these girls. So many character types, so many imagined stories. For pure verve, I am drawn repeatedly to the young lady on the left on the lowest step, she of the wackiest bathing bonnet, but rocking it totally, and with her linked fingers holding her crossed knee. She's certainly attending to the words of the finger-pointing matron, but I reckon there's so much more going on, if that gentle smile is but one indication.

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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