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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Lust Girls: 1919

Lust Girls: 1919

Washington, D.C., 1919. "Sidney Lust girls." Chorus girls at Sidney Lust's Leader Theater. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

 

Sidney Lust

I knew Lust's grandson, who was also in the theatre business.

The girl on the right

I think the girl on the right looks like Rizzo from "Grease."

Apart from that, I agree that the natural beauty on these photos is refreshing, I doubt you can see any photo on a magazine today as natural as this (not to talk about Photoshopping).

I'm sure he was alive in 1973!

In 1973 I worked on the Wheaton High School newspaper and I got our sponsor, a poor first year teacher named Larry Lasky in no end of trouble when I interviewed Sidney Lust (or someone who claimed to be him) for the newspaper and actually got printed. A Baptist minister on the school board didn't like the interview at all!

Bodysuits

They're probably a fine-knit wool blend of some sort. The suits probably weren't anywhere near so sheer or transparent under normal lighting, this looks like the flash effect that still catches starlets "commando" in red carpet paparazzi pictures today.

Suits

I wonder what those suits are made of? They seem to be too elastic and clingy to be wool or cotton.

On the right

"Why does the lady on the right look familiar?"

Considering the year of the photo, it must be Joan Collins.

About Sydney

As far as I know, that was his real name. He had a chain of theaters in the DC area, including several drive-ins, that lasted into the 1970s. By then he'd been dead for 20 years. Ironically, in their decline they did start showing softcore stuff. A couple of them are still around, including the big Art Deco palace in Bethesda.

[Sidney, not Sydney. - Dave]

Lust girls

I'm wearing the same thing right now!

It's the REAL thing!

I will say this about that. These were truly natural women, there were no implants, there was no botox, what you see is what you get. It is quite refreshing to see physical reality in this era of plastic, silicone, liposuction and dermabrasion and yet they obviously were not anorexic or bulimic as they both have some food in their tummies. Pretty hot babes if you ask me.

Not every day...

...you get a theater owner with a stage name. Lust, huh? Yeah, I bet there was.

Rolled Stockings

Remember the old ragtime song, Five Foot Two? Until Shorpy came along, I never understood the line about "turned down hose." (Turned up nose, turned down hose, never had any other beaus...) This was the height of fashion in flapper society.

Was this even legal back then?

This picture looks like the kind of thing that would have earned the photographer a trip to the pokey. Wowzers!

What A Drag

I don't think this time there will be any comments on who is really a woman and who is in drag in this photo like similar shots from this series.

Lust Girls

People in ninety years (or fewer...or now...) will be looking at the exposed bra strap fad popularized by "Sex and the City" the same way. Heck, if you showed this picture to either of the Lust Girls ten years after it was taken, she probably would have said, "Oh, for heaven's sake, I can't believe we thought that looked good!"

And the girl on the right rather looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal. Who bears an uncanny resemblance to nearly every young woman of that era.

Betty Boop

That hair curl on the forehead of the first girl, you don't see that much today.

More likely their feet got cold.

I suspect the rolled-up thing is to make them grip better to the calves. Remember that socks of the era wouldn't have had elastic, and they look fine/silky; probably didn't grip all that well, and would keep falling down.

This photo proves I was born

This photo proves I was born in the wrong decade. About 60 years too late. Post more in this series.

Familiar face?

Why does the lady on the right look familiar?

It's Showtime!

Ahem. This photo brought to mind these song lyrics:

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts (they’re lovely)
There they are all standing in a row (one, two, three, four)
Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head (and bigger)
Give them a twist, a flick of the wrist
That’s what the showman said.

Still with the stockings?

Not much left to the imagination in this photo!! Oh, baby!! Oh la la!!

Which is strange considering these ladies are both 115 years old today.

But STILL with those dumb, rolled up stockings!! What are they trying to hide? Their ankles?

Unflattering emulsion

Looks like typical orthochromatic photographic emulsion hand swarthiness to me. I'll let others comment on some of the more obvious details.

 
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