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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.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VOLUNTEER FOR VICTORY

The Lifeguard: 1905

The Lifeguard: 1905

Circa 1905. "A life guard. Brighton Beach, New York." He looks like someone who knows the ropes. Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.

 

A leaf from the family tree

I had to do a quadruple take -- this gent looks exactly like my father! Same structure, muscles, even the mustache! Had the scenery (and his bathing togs) not depicted the time period, I would almost swear it is him. My dad was a surfing bum in the 60s, and a furniture mover in his adult life (how the muscles were formed!). I wonder what this fellow's life was like...

Why

isn't he indexed under "handsome rakes?" You sure put enough women under the heading of "pretty girls" for all your male viewers.

[Done. - Dave]

Men's muscles

Today's man would need a rowing machine or a Bowflex to get those arms. I wonder what he did for a living (other than a life guard). I wanna go back in time and find this guy! Rooooooowwwrrr...

Never!

Never saw a guy look as good as him in one of those wool bathing suits. Not enough tattoos for a 1905 Navy dude, though.

Live at Wembley

Shades of Freddie Mercury

Shocking

I can't say I think too much about the electric lamp and wires strung directly over the swimming area!

Mustache or Baleen?

Maybe he uses it to filter-feed.

Please save me

I plan on jumping in the surf and floundering hysterically in about 5 minutes. Resuscitation would be nice. I love a nice mustache.

And to quote Randy Newman, "You can leave the hat on."

Lone Caterpillar

Was there no tradition of mustache care in 1905?

Oh My!

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Smokin'!!

It was nice of the guy to take the cigar out of his mouth for the photo. I wonder if he'd keep it clenched in his teeth as he rescued some floundering swimmer.

Clothes Make the Man?

Yes, he's a "manly man," but what really "stands out" about him is that vital part of the bather's wardrobe: The Belt. Would that swimwear designers of today return to the wonderful feature of a leather belt on every swim suit! Never mind drawstrings or elastic - hold your drawers up the way God intended with a strip of cowhide.

Yowsa!

This man is sizzlin'!!

There is a God......

or women too would wear their veins on the outside like this jamoke.

Well, hello there

Check out the gun show! Love it!

Satisfaction

Re: Anon Tipster "Satisfying the Ladies:"

Amen to that sistah!

Procedure

In an emergency, I hope he didn't jump into the water wearing that hat and I hope the damsels in distress didn't go into the water with those umbrellas.

Brighton Beach Memories

My old stomping grounds as a kid. And memories of sand in my shorts riding the BMT home with my folks.

The Sailor Man

I think that this might be Popeye before the unfortunate eye injury, pre-pipe and pre-Olive Oyl.

Ding-Dong

"Package for you, ma'am."

The Village People

...the early years. It's fun to play on Brighton Beach at Parkway!

Re: The woman are hot!

I wouldn't mind checking out all that man. He is gorgeous, and I just love a man in uniform!

Port Call

Something tells me this guy was In the Navy.

Mr. Brown

In an era when porcelain skin was very much de rigueur, I wonder what a deep tan like that would do for one's social standing.

Satisfying the Ladies

Oh Dave, you sweet thing you. Always keeping the ladies satisfied with a little sample of eye candy for us womenfolk after we've had to witness the male Shorpyites transform from men to wolves after the posting of such a lovely flower of a girl several photos down.

As for the handsome bit of cheesecake in the photo, a bit of CPR from him could jump start any heart as well as quite a few other things.

Wowza!

That is one beautiful man! And what a tan! I don't think the hat is dorky though -- rather jaunty if you ask me. Don't you have a "handsome rakes" category? This guy is a candidate without a doubt.

The woman are hot!

Wearing those outfits.

[The woman are no doubt checking out all the man. - Dave]

Got one word for you -

BAYWATCH! This guy was a hardbody long before the term was coined. And none of the females are even glancing at him, what the heck's wrong with them? Maybe it's the dorky hat.

 
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