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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 • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Young Tarzan: 1922

Young Tarzan: 1922

Johnny Weissmuller in an Illinois Athletic Club swimsuit circa 1922, prior to winning five Olympic gold medals in 1924 and 1928. Before becoming Tarzan and signing a movie contract with MGM in 1932, Weissmuller was a spokesmodel for BVD swimwear. George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

About Johnny

He was actually born in a district of Timisoara (Romania, Eastern Europe) in 1904 and registered as Peter Weissmüller.

When he was seven months old, the family emigrated to the United States aboard the S.S. Rotterdam as steerage passengers.

He was the son of German-speaking parents of Jewish and Roman Catholic background, Petrus Weißmüller and Elisabeth Kersch.

In the US he used his brothers name, Johnny, because it was more American.

Very cool! I wish as kids we

Very cool!
I wish as kids we knew what was in front of us. How to savor the moments we can't get back now.

Young Tarzan

I actually met Johnny Weissmuller in 1976 in South Louisiana. I was in a community play called Bayou Bon Temps and one of the acts had us dressed in Tarzan outfits in honor of the first Tarzan movie being filmed in our hometown. Being 16 years old at the time, I didn't realize the significance of the man we met. I remember him as being still full of energy and enthusiasm at the time.

 
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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