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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

A Chorus Line: 1925

A Chorus Line: 1925

November 24, 1925. Washington, D.C. "Uncle Sam's Follies." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress.

 

They are women.

They're not men. Look at the (lack of) muscle on their legs & arms. They're women, just not particularly attractive ones.

[Well I guess you won't be my wingman anytime soon! That's the acrobat-comedian Dick Nash on the left. The other guys were performers in his "Pony Ballet." Below, the leg of the third girl from the left in the photo above without the stockings. - Dave]

3 out of 7

I'd say that 2nd, 3rd and 4th from right are girls.

Miss Jane

The two on each end could be Jane Hathaway's paternal and maternal grandmas.

2 out of 7 revisited

I meant 2 were pretty. Now I wonder if 2 (perhaps 3) are even women. Come on, let us in on on the fun.

[The best guess of the Shorpy Gender Certification Committee is that at least two of these girls are women. - Dave]

A Chorus Line

While these are not the prettiest chorus line ever( though I rather like the one in the middle and would love to have her outfit), I think you'd find that a lot of the "ugliness" is the weird strained facial expressions from the awkward pose, and at least one of them looks like she's been sweating a great deal. I'd say these ladies have been putting a lot of practice into a difficult and/or very energetic dance routine and the photographer caught them at a bad moment. I'm also surprised by the apparently wide variety of ages -- second from the right looks no more than 16, while a couple of the others appear middle-aged (though that might be partly due to sweat-streaked makeup).

Love & Death

Reminds me of the line from Woody Allen's "Love and Death" where the Napoleon character asks Diane Keaton if she finds him attractive as a man and she says, "I think it's your best bet."

La Cage aux Folly

Even Divine would hang her head in shame.

Misfiled

I don't think you can file that one under Pretty Girls. I'm not even convinced all of them are girls.

[I think that's kind of obvious. Isn't it? - Dave]

Uncle Sam's Follies

So which one is Uncle Sam?

Stepford

Their shoes have more variety than their (lovely?) faces do! So, variety is the spice of life but a few of these ladies look like twins!

Mistake

I don't think they were supposed to be photographed above the knees.

2 out of 7

This is a scary lineup of mostly very unattractive women, only two of whom would pass muster today. Are women really prettier today or are we pickier? BTW, I am female so this is not just a male sexist remark.

[What's your opinion of them as men? - Dave]

They're Sure Not Rosies

While all those beautiful Rosie the Riveters captured our hearts... these ladies could be auditioning for a horror movie.

Some amazingly cute shoes --

Some amazingly cute shoes -- but what's that on their faces? Are they the clowns from the previous act?

[Stubble. - Dave]

 
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