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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 • GEORGE WASHINGTON CROSSING THE PIES

Sand Dancers: 1922

Sand Dancers: 1922

July 6, 1922. "People dancing on beach." Pavilion at the Potomac bathing beach in Washington. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

 

Balboa is alive and well.

Balboa is being danced all over the place; it's a great dance for super-fast tempos like Dixieland. I've gone to swing dances in Seattle, L.A, Chicago and Miami, and have seen Balboa in all those fine cities.

Let's do the Balboa

These folks look to be doing the "Balboa," a dance that started in the mid-teens in SoCal. Not much is known about the dance, but likely stems from the same roots as Lindy Hop, Collegiate Shag, and other forms of swing dance. Bal was often done on beaches as opposed to other swing dances because it is more of a shuffle step.

Oh, and there was the small matter of it typically being a full-body contact dance... most of the lead was in the body connection. Although, in these bathing suits, a full-body lead would be... erm... a bit interesting for the guys, to say the least.

Digging those dresses

The (swim?) dresses with the stripes that those girls have one (like the girl far right next to innertube guy) are too cool.

Tuber

Poor kid with the innertube would have had a tough time hanging onto that skinny thing. My dad was in heavy construction, and we would occasionally be gifted with a huge truck tire tube which was almost too big to climb up on while in the water. Plus, we wore out our arms inflating those things with a scrawny bicycle pump.

The Fellow

Third from the left (with his arms folded across his chest) appears to be the same person from "When We Were Young", also standing on the left side of the photo (note the logo on the bathing suit).

[Same guy, but the swimsuits are different. - Dave]

 
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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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