The Shorpy Archive
 
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
 
Join and Share

 
Social Shorpy

To love him is to like him. Our goal: 100k "likes":

 
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Daily e-mail updates:

 
 
 
 
Member Photos


Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

 
Colorized Photos


Colorized photos submitted by members.

 
About the Photos

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.

 
 
JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600
VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FRENCH BICYCLE GODDESS, c. 1898

Jersey Shore: 1908

Jersey Shore: 1908

July 19, 1908. "Negro bathers, Asbury Park." A frolic in the New Jersey surf. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

Hang on!

The lady at the end of the rope is beautiful, but I'm worried about those kids in the water - they don't seem to be holding a rope.

"Negro Beach"

The picture was likely taken near this location. It was the steam plant for all of the buildings on the boardwalk and had a restaurant and concessions for non-white visitors.

The area between the building and the ocean is listed on old maps as "Negro Beach."

The Inkwell

When I vacationed at Asbury Park during the 1960s they still had those ropes. Sometimes they marked where the lifeguard-patrolled sections ended. They were also used to ride the waves.

Asbury Park was a segregated town, particularly at the turn of the century. The small area where black people were permitted to swim, just past the Casino and before Ocean Grove, was called the Inkwell. Not a desired spot, as waste was dumped there from Wesley Lake.

Bathing ropes

Undertow ropes (also called life ropes or bathing ropes) are still a fixture along certain parts of the Jersey Shore. A relic of the early bathing-beach days when many city folks took a dip even if they couldn't swim, and lifeguards weren't that common.

You're a daisy if you do...

I don't think they are going to be able to pull that post into the water with them.

Swept Away

I assume the ropes are to keep the weaker swimmers from drowning, though I've never seen such a rope arrangement on any beach. Anyone know for sure?

At the end of their rope

A whale? A sunken ship? Looks like fun!

Wow!

What is that guy using for bait?

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2014 Shorpy Inc.