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About the Photos

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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Men in Tights: 1910

Men in Tights: 1910

Orange, Virginia, circa 1910. "Woodberry Forest Gym Team." Our second look at these prep-school superheroes. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

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Gentleman Gym

Given the smirk, I'd say the guy on the right choose the uniforms.

The Sequence of Dressing.

I nearly choked on my lunchtime sandwich when I saw this pic -- it looked for all the world like an assembly of superheroes!

On closer inspection -- after the guffaws had died away -- I saw that there must have been a strict layering sequence when getting dressed.

First came those very lengthy sleeveless tank-tops. Most of the bottoms of these items are scrunched up around the nether regions, indicating that they also served as underpants. Then came the tights, into which the long tank-tops were tucked and scrunched.

Finally the wearer stepped into the "man-kini" (Borat would be proud of these chaps) and then belt and calf-height boots. All that's missing is a cape.

Buck Rogers Lite

Something about the uniforms and the stance of the athletes reminds me of the 1930s Buck Rogers movies. Think it's the white lace-up boots.

Tight Tights!

But we're butch!

At the Cleaners

Aside from the manager, two guys are wearing trousers instead of tights.


The kid in the suit was probably the team's manager, and displays the traditional Student Manager Smirk seen in many athletic class photos.

I ain't wearin' no tights!

What's with the guy in the back row, far left? How come he gets to wear pants, while the rest of the team are wearing tights?

This photo

could also have been titled "The Little Whopper."

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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