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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Possibly Naked: 1922

Possibly Naked: 1922

July 28, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Unclothed woman behind '?' sign." That pretty well sums it up. National Photo Co. Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Sk8r Girl

Whatever she's not got on, she is wearing a plaster over the scuff wound on her right knee, a very modern-looking touch. But she probably didn't earn this skater badge by grinding along the seawall ledge. It somehow recalls to me a 1920s John Held cartoon caption on a drawing of two flappers, one holding a powder puff and a compact:

"Is my nose shiny?"
"No, but your left knee is dusty."

Meanwhile, the nails

Nails in that location don't seem to serve any structural purpose. My guess is that something's intended to be attached to them periodically, like seasonal banners or bunting maybe. Or perhaps it's an el cheapo provision for the nude, naked and unclothed people to hang their clothes on.

Scanties?

I'd like to think that sweet-looking lass had SOME clothes on behind the punctuation, but what garments existed in 1922 that would have been completely concealed by the sign? Certainly not a bathing suit of the period.

[Below, also from 1922. Maybe she's wearing something similar with her arms out of the straps. More 1922 beach fashions here. - Dave]

Secrets well guarded

They certainly didn't want anyone crawling over the fence in search of answers, did they?

1922 Advertisement

... for Guess brand jeans!

The question is...

"Have you seen my colon?"

Ak vs. Ekk

The late great Lewis Grizzard told us that "naked" is merely being in an unclothed state, while "nekkid" means you're unclothed and up to something.

Naked Nude Unclothed

Traditionally, "naked" meant being undressed by onesself, unless someone else walked in on you ("She was surprised, naked, in the bath.") "Nude" was to be without clothes knowingly with others, as in "She modeled for artists in the nude." This woman is "unclothed", as she is in public without clothing, but nothing inappropriate is exposed.

At least that's how a professor of 19th century art explained it to me.

What I want to know is: why does both the fence behind her and the walkway she's standing on slope down to the right side of the image?

[It's a topological phenomenon that, as a geology professor once explained it to me, is called a "hill." - Dave]

Modern times.

I can't believe she doesn't have her rolled down socks on. She's exposing her -- gasp -- ankles!

She has to be clothed behind the "?" sign. They didn't have nekkid people back in 1922. It wasn't allowed!!

.

I wonder if she was missing hers.

!

Somewhere there's an unclothed man behind an exclamation point. When he meets this gal, no words will be necessary.

[Maybe he'd make a dash after her. - Dave]

Ye are much too easy

Amidst the hype, I bet a can of snuff she is wearing a bathing suit behind the question mark.

The Answer

Frank Gorshin!

OK, I'm stumped...

... can you reveal the answer please?

[There is no answer. - Dave]

Gasp!

Now that you have our attention.....

Clara Bow's cousin, maybe

Looks like the kind of gal that would hang out at the Krazy Kat or the Better 'Ole.

Winner!

This is, without any real debate needed, the most random image ever seen on this site. I love it. I also love how she is "unclothed" not "naked."

?

...I'm still trying to figure it out.

I think...

I know the answer.

A Riddle

Early versions of Batman villains seem rather crude to the modern eye ...

Watch out for those nails!

....and the barbed wire, too.

Nailed It

This picture certainly captured my attention.

Someone should be very ashamed of themselves for this shoddy and heinous display.

That is some very poor nailing.

Unclothed Woman

With very strange tan line.

[Think beach socks. - Dave]

Nails + Nudity = Injury

Those nails sticking out of that fence don't look like they'd be too kind to delicate skin. The thought makes me cringe.

 
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