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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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When We Were Young: 1922

When We Were Young: 1922

The Potomac bathing beach with a view of the Washington Monument circa 1922. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


The second guy from the right seems to be aware the suit is a bit feminine, hence the posture. A wonderful goof, there is always one.

Swimsuits Again

Graduated in 1962. Swimming in school was separated -- boys one day, girls the next. The girls got to wear swimsuits. The boys, not so much.


Wow, think of how great they would all look in decent bathing suits, if they look so good in these things!

And when did people start to realize that they could buy their own swimsuits? Always with the rentals.

[Renting means you don't have to carry a wet wool swimsuit back home on the streetcar. And don't have to wash it, either. - Dave]

Rental swimsuits!

Rental swimsuits! This reminds me of my high school. Swimming was required to graduate (in 1994) and we had to share swimsuits. How gross!

Mr. Right

Looks like Matt Damon to me.

The Guy on the Right...

Is stunning, and he looks like someone famous now, but I can't think who.

Potomac Bathers

They would be at least 96 if they were alive.

[If they were 10 years old in this photo, yes. - Dave]

Dead in the Water

I wonder how many of them are dead now. All of them?

The guy in the middle

seems to be really into the girl looking at the camera. Very cute.

Potomac Swimmer

Right. Since the bikini hadn't been invented yet, the poor guy doesn't realize that his bathing suit makes him look like he's wearing one!

3rd from right

I'd guess they had no concept of the two piece bathing suit. At first I thought the guy was joking but looking at the image closer and realizing it was a one piece and it was 1923 it was probably considered macho. Am I right?

[Those are rental swimsuits. The necklaces are claim tags for their street clothes. - Dave]

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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