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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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Y.W.C.A.: 1919

Y.W.C.A.: 1919

1919. "Young Women's Christian Association. Scenes at YWCA camp." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


I just found this site and I am hooked! The girl on the far left holding her leg looks exactly like my youngest daughter. Uncanny.

Needs a Soundtrack

"I'm so stoned"
"Me too"
"When's the pizza gonna get here?"
"Knitting sucks. Let's go inside and watch American Idol"

Bor-ing, Bor-ing

Anon didn't say they were boring. He didn't say they were bored. He said they *looked* bored.

"Happy" is not the word I'd use to describe the look of this group. They look as though they are having their picture taken and they are all trying to look interested for that occasion. I expect the teens of 90 years later have a lot more stress on them than did these girls on the porch.


Apparently Anon Tipster would find me colossally boring. Sitting on a porch reading quietly without being enslaved by my cell phone and my work-issued laptop is my idea of heaven -- and it's what most of my vacations look like.

On the contrary, this group of teenagers with no iPods, Blackberries, GameBoys, or telephones looks a lot happier -- and a thousand times less stressed-out -- than the teens I work with every day.

Musical interlude...

Cheer up girls, the Charleston is on its way!

Such Sweet Neglect

This picture is such a nice contrast to the buttoned-up class portraits from the same era we've been looking at recently. Mind you, I'm all for a polished appearance when it's called for, but it's a refreshing change sometimes.

The girls are totally relaxed, their hair is falling our of its confines, their middies are wrinkled, they're slouching and sitting cross-legged, and they're totally happy and charming. It makes me think of the old Ben Jonson poem:

Still to be neat, still to be dressed,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powdered, still perfumed;
Lady, it is to be presumed,
Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.
Give me a look, give me a face
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes losely flowing, hair as free;
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all th' adulteries of art.
They strike mine eyes but not my heart.

Single Tasking....

My daughter is at a similar age to these girls and were she sitting on this porch she'd likely be on the cell phone, doing a little texting in between calls, iTouching to check Facebook, to write on someone's "Wall," listening to her MP3 player, and reading a teen magazine while watching TV.

I think its WONDERFUL that they are taking a break, single tasking, and experiencing a contemplative moment. I expect that in a few moments they will be off for a hike or a rousing game of crochet.

[Or a take-no-prisoners round of croquet. - Dave]

Disk Jockey

Think the DJ is spinning the latest Britney CD?

Ah yes...

But wait till the first notes of "Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me" by Ted Lewis & His Jazz Band blast out of the Victrola. This is gonna become a hot party.

Only twenty years to go

Of course they're bored - it's 1919. They've got the satellite dish but TV hasn't been invented yet.


Looks like a scene from "Picnic at Hanging Rock."

Grandma's blouse

I have a portrait of my grandmother taken the year she graduated, 1919, wearing one of those blouses with the black tie. I love this calm quiet-time scene.

Nice to be acknowledged

What a wonderful photo. I love how the gaze of just one pair of eyes draws the viewer back in for a second look at an otherwise passive scene.

Such a happy bunch

The girls in the front are tearing out pages to make paper hats for this equally-festive shindig:

[That was my first thought, too! Then I realized it was a different house. - Dave]


I've never seen a more bored looking group of people.

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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