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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Lust Girl: 1919

Lust Girl: 1919

"Sidney Lust girl, 1919 or 1920." Our survey of the Washington, D.C., theatrical scene continues with another of cinema owner Sidney Lust's chorus girls. National Photo Company Collection glass negative stereograph. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

They're real

And they're spectacular!!

On the topic of flaws

>> Instead of seeing the person, one's eyes go straight to the "flaws" since it is so unusual, freakish, even to see it at all nowdays in photographic images.

My boyfriend was trying to explain why he likes pictures and paintings of women from past eras more than modern ones, and the main reason is the weight issue. "You look at these women with ribs showing on their upper chests, and you just know you'd break them." He loves pinup art, old starlet photos, and B&W photos of shapely, pretty women. That's how I came across this site, was looking for pretty pictures for him to enjoy (as a photographer, I like them too for many reasons).

Because I have several artistic nudes on the walls, a side discussion evolved about women's attitudes towards their bodies vs. men's, and women's antsiness about their guy looking at pictures of other women. He said he hated that some women feel the need to measure themselves against models, movie stars etc., because what most men enjoy are the differences. He tried to explain the fascination with the flaws, but was frustrated with the word "flaw," saying it implied something negative to describe what men celebrate and enjoy, all the unique differences from each other. Things that we women desperately try to homogenize away.

New to this site, and haven't gotten anything else done for HOURS. Thank you for the wonderful photos!

Good old Sid

Still can't get over the name "Sidney Lust." It's got to be the best name ever. I shall be changing mine henceforth!

Good Taste

A legion of artists would rejoice at the opportunity to paint this lovely creature, and for that matter any of you similarly proportioned commentators. And they would have scant concern for perfect proportionment.

Nor would we, the tasteful viewer.

Shorpy Comments

I think it's very disappointing that whenever I see a photo of a woman on Shorpy, it's guaranteed that the comments will focus only on critiquing her figure or looks. Aren't we here to learn something from history? Why is this form of sexism still so rampant today?

[I can think of two good reasons. - Dave]

That Girl

I love old photos. Thinking about who a person was, what they did at the time, who they married, who their children became. These photos probably do not display the full beauty of this woman. She probably had legions of young guys chasing her. I hope she had a good life.


Very few women have perfectly symmetrical breasts!

Immodest modesty?

What I find contradictory about some of the fashions of this period is that, on the one hand, there were requirements of social modesty: public bathing required neck-to-knee (or neck-to-thigh) suits, for example, yet the material was clingy and only semi-opaque when wet (and here it appears to be completely dry!), leaving very little to the imagination.

Trust me

I am much happier with everything squished and held into place than the alternative. I am sure all the work she had to do took its toll on all her assets, plus it can hurt!

Anthropological Studies

This yeoman work in the "survey of the Washington, D.C. theatrical scene" should continue, for both its sociological value and anthropolical insights. We are hereby requesting another year's full funding for this important research.

As a side (front?) note, the bustiness of this young lady was about to fall seriously out of fashion in the breast-binding days of the flapper, just about to get into full (non)swing.

She works hard for the money.

This lady was no slacker. Performing daily, probably several times a day, is no job for couch potatoes. One can see by her face that she was conscientious and striving for approval. How many of us could do that? She looks just a little bit tired, but pasted on a smile anyway just like a trouper. The show must go on.

For real

I'm not suprised by some of the body-snarking comments. Today one is so accustomed to looking at images of the human body that are highly artificial, having been photoshopped into smooth, firm perfection.

Instead of seeing the person, one's eyes go straight to the "flaws" since it is so unusual, freakish, even to see it at all nowdays in photographic images.

She looks real, and she looks good.


I'd cut off my left index finger to be in the arms of a woman with this figure.

[Is that the one that works the caps-lock key? - Dave]


Poor thing, even 90ish years ago there was a woman probably looking at a photo of herself and going "Oh GAWD!! Look at my right boob! How embarrassing! Why didn't you tell me to straighten it up before you took the photo!"

I know it's happened to me!

Both Sides Now

For the record, mine are lopsided and I don't have any children. I'm surprised by the audacity of these rude comments.

Why it's good to be a man.

"Squished cleavage", with "everything" held firmly in place while working out. One more reason it's good to be a man.

[Well ya know guys have a similar issue, a little farther south. - Dave]

High Standards

Need a reality check. She's got a great, curvy figure. The "high beams" don't align on their own--if she had the benefits of modern bra technology to support and shape, she'd have one fabulous figure.

That being said, it had to be very uncomfortable to be a dancing chorus girl in an outfit like that. Yikes.

[These girls, who performed between pictures at the Leader Theater cinema, had costumes. She's a bit underdressed in the big photo. - Dave]

How to explain..

For someone who who is above average in the cleavage area, it could be the outfit combined with with movement that, ahem, shifted things around. It is why sports bras are so important to squish and HOLD everything into place when one is working out.

Line of Demarcation

That line on the wall seems to delineate her body from the neck down.

High Beams

Need alignment.

Right Handed

I'm guessing she mostly held her baby in her right arm while feeding. Yikes.

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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